Market Information   >   Food News Clipping

Food News Clipping

January 23 - 28, 2022


FAS/Seoul Monitoring of Media Reporting on Agricultural Issues

Today's Date: Thursday,  February 3,  2022

For Coverage: January 23 ~ 28, 2022



The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety Resumes Its On-Site Inspections of Overseas Manufacturers

Summary:  The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety announced that it would resume on-site inspections of overseas manufacturers starting this year.  Overseas manufacturers serve many purposes such as manufacturing, processing, packaging and storing imported food products.  Considering the COVID 19 guidelines of each countries, the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety said they will start from countries where on-site inspections are possible, and conduct non-face-to-face investigations (through documents and video materials) for countries that are difficult to visit.  490 manufacturers (from 35 countries) are subject to this year’s inspection.  The inspections will target manufacturers that produce high risk products and items with high consumption levels.  


Prices of Ice Cream Products are Expected to Go Up

Summary:  Korean food and beverage giant Binggrae announced on January 28th that the price of major ice cream products will be increased starting from March.  The final price of ice cream products will be determined after consulting with distribution channels.  Based on this price increase, ‘Together’ will be sold for 6,000 won, up from 5,500 won, and ‘Melona’ will be sold for 1,000 won, up from 800 won.  Binggrae said that the recent price rise of domestic crude oil and subsidiary materials such as petrochemicals and paper pulp made it hard for manufacturers to operate without increasing retail prices.  Binggrae explained that they have tried to avoid price increases by enhancing the efficiency of the entire business, but administrative and sales and shipping expenses also went up, intensifying price pressure.


Reusable Cup Orders at Starbucks Increased by 60% compared to 2021

Summary:  Starbucks announced on January 27th that since January 13th the use of reusable cups has increased after strengthening benefits for orders with reusable cups.  The number of reusable cup orders for the two weeks from the 13th to 26th totaled 900,000, up 60 percent from the same period of last year.  According to the survey of Starbucks conducted with 243 customers that have the highest record for ‘eco stars’, 109 out of 243 answered that they use reusable cups to lessen usage of non-reusable cups (45%), and 97 customers answered that they do it to earn discounts benefits (40%).  Starbucks is planning to offer more benefits to encourage reusable cup orders based on consumer feedback through various channels.


Per Capita Rice Consumption in 2021 was The Lowest Ever

Summary:  According to the Statistics Korea’s grain consumption survey, per capita rice consumption decreased 1.4 percent from 2020 to 56.9 kg in 2021.  Per capita rice consumption in 2021 was half their level in 1991 (116.3 kg).  Annual per capita consumption of grains, including rice, barley rice, wheat flour, mixed grains, and beans was also the lowest in history.  Grain consumption totaled 65.0 kg in 2021, down 2.0 percent from 2020.  Hwang Hyo sook, head of the Statistics Korea’s Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, said that food consumption patterns are westernized and more people are consuming bread, HMR (Home Meal Replacement) products, and retort food products.


Krispy Kreme Donuts Introduces a Tumbler for Pet Families

Summary:  Krispy Kreme Donuts, a donut franchise operated by Lotte GRS, released a merchandise collection for pet families.  Krispy Kreme’s tumbler was developed in collaboration with the drink ware brand Asobu.  Drinks can be poured on the upper part of the product, and the lower part can be removed and stored separately.  It is easy to store water or pet food since it can serve as an insulated container.  Regarding the design, a carabiner at the handle and the image of a puppy’s paws attracted many pet owners.  A Lotte GRS official said with the fast growing number of pet families, there is increasing demands from customers that wants to enjoy outdoor activities with their pets.


Koreans Open Wallets for Premium Wines at Convenience Stores

Summary:  Premium wine and whisky gift sets are being sold at local convenience stores.  The liquor market was previously dominated by hypermarkets and department stores.  However, the number of consumers opening their wallets for premium wines at convenience stores is increasing along with the "ME-conomy" shopping trend where people indulge in purchases for themselves.  According to GS25 on January 26th, a 5.9 million won ‘Lunar New Year’s vintage wine set’ was sold at a branch in Daegu.  Purchasing premium wines at convenience stores is not a new trend during the Lunar New Year season.  Last year, CU reportedly sold 130 bottles of top five chateau wines.  More customers are looking for high-priced quality wines at convenience stores since they can easily buy products that aren’t available at individual retailers.  Local convenience stores are rapidly expanding their lineups of premium wines to stabilize their position in the premium alcoholic beverages market.


Fresh Easy Acquires Tasty Nine to Strengthen Competitiveness in the Meal Kit Market

Summary:  The strongest player in the domestic meal kit market Fresh Easy announced on January 26th that it signed an M&A deal with Tasty Nine, the No.2 player.  With the recent M&A deals made by Fresh Easy, its valuation is expected to exceed one trillion won.  Fresh Easy, which mainly focuses on B2B (Business to Business) transactions and manufacturing, is planning to strengthen the competitive power of its HMR (Home Meal Replacement) products by cooperating with Tasty Nine.  Tasty Nine has grown based on its competitiveness in brand planning and B2C (Business to Consumer) transactions.  Jung Joong Gyo, CEO of Fresh Easy, said that a huge synergy is expected between the two companies with different competitive strengths. 


‘Trans Beverages’ Launches Special Negroni RTE Package

Summary:  ‘Trans Beverages’ will reportedly launch a special package for Negroni RTE (Ready To Enjoy). Negroni, a globally popular cocktail, was selected as the best-selling classic cocktail by ‘Drink International’, a British liquor magazine last year.  With the special Negroni RTE package, anyone can enjoy a premium cocktail by mixing Campari, dry gin, and vermouth at the optimal ratio.  The package consists of one bottle of Negroni RTE and one exclusive cup.  Only 1,600 sets of the special Negroni RTE package will be sold in Korea.  It will be available at all branches of Home-Plus.  A Trans Beverages official said that “since home parties and vacations are becoming more popular recently, we are launching this new item so that people can enjoy the world’s number one cocktail anywhere and everywhere.” 


Kabrew Acquires HACCP Certification for its New ‘Vision Brewery’

Summary:  Kabrew announced on January 25th that their new manufactory ‘Vision Brewery’ obtained Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) certification.  HACCP is a food security management system that prevents food products from being contaminated or mixed with biological, chemical, or physical hazards throughout the whole process starting from production to consumption.  Kabrew’s Sangcheon Brewery was the first in the industry to receive HACCP certification in 2017.  Sangsaek Brewery also acquired HACCP certification in 2018.  Vision Brewery, located in Gapyeong, Gyeong-gi province, started operation in August 2021.  It is equipped with high-tech machines that can produce more than 10 million cans per year.  An official of Kabrew said they introduced HACCP certification for quality management, and will continue efforts to maintain high quality.


Food Service Companies Try to Secure Their Own Database

Summary:  Orders are becoming more concentrated on certain delivery platforms during the pandemic, raising concerns for food service companies.  If food orders are made through delivery platforms, food service companies cannot access the personal data of customers such as age, sex, address, and frequency.  Therefore, food service companies are promoting their own applications by strengthening membership benefits to secure their own database.  An industry insider said that they previously used their own database to set marketing strategies.  Paris Baguette, Dunkin, and Baskin Robbins, all operated by SPC Group, allow preorders of limited merchandise collections only through their own application ‘Happy Order’.  Customers can get a discounts if orders are made through ‘Happy Order’.


Leading Food Companies Expand ‘Care Food’ Services

Summary:  CJ Fresh Way and Pulmuone are actively competing in the care food market worth of 2 trillion won.  Since Korea has a rapidly aging population, the care food market is expected to grow steadily.  Care food targets the elderly that have difficulty consuming and digesting food.  Starting this year, CJ Fresh Way and Pulmuone are introducing elderly-friendly food items to secure market share.  They are focusing not only on developing care food products, but also on selling those items through various channels.  CJ Fresh Way is strengthening its ‘Health Nuri’ service by expanding its scope to kindergartens and daycare centers.  Also they launched new home meal replacement (HMR) products targeted at elderly consumers.  Meanwhile, Pulmuone has launched an integrated platform for various customized food services.  These efforts are followed by companies such as Our Home, Hyundai Green Food, and Shinsegae Food.


The Price of Daily Necessities Went Up

Summary:  The price of daily necessities in the fourth quarter of last year increased by an average of 4.7 percent from the same period in 2020.  The Korea National Council of Consumer Organizations reported on January 24th that after examining the prices of 38 items, 29 items increased in price and 9 items decreased in price.  The price of the 29 items increased by an average of 6.6 percent.  Egg prices (up 36.2%) went up the most, followed by tofu (16.1%), cooking oil (15.4%), orange juice (12.3%), and hams (11.0%).  However, the Korea National Council of Consumer Organizations said that the price of eggs is stabilizing with a 14.7 percent drop in prices from the third quarter of 2021. 
* ATO Seoul comment: the price of eggs was influenced heavily by an outbreak of avian influenza.  Prices have since come down.


Pet Market is Growing Rapidly

Summary:  With the rapid growth of the pet market, new companies are entering the market by launching new products.  According to Korea Rural Economic Institute (KREI), the domestic pet market surpassed 3 trillion won in 2019 and it is forecast to reach 6 trillion won in 2027.  The pet-related industry is becoming more mature and specialized.  Clean Wrap, a company dedicated to household products, has opened a ‘Howl Pet Care Club Center’ in Yongsan Seoul.  It provides various lifestyle products and services for pets.  An official from Clean Wrap said that it is natural for them to expand their business into the pet market since pets are regarded as a part of the family.



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