Market Information   >   Food News Clipping

Food News Clipping

February 22 - March 4, 2022


FAS/Seoul Monitoring of Media Reporting on Agricultural Issues

Today's Date: Monday,  March 7,  2022

For Coverage: February  22 ~  March 4, 2022

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Strives to Reduce International Grain Market Uncertainty Amid Ukraine Crisis

Summary:  The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs decided to reduce the interest rate on funds for purchasing feed and food raw materials, and to increase the tariff-rate quotas (TRQ) on raw materials that can replace feed grains in response to international grain market uncertainty amid the Ukraine conflict.  The interest rate on purchasing funds for grain feeds (64.7 billion won) and food materials (128 billion won) will be reduced to 2.0%~2.5% from 2.5%~3.0%.  The TRQs on hulled barley (60,000 tons) and hulled wheat (30,000 tons) will be increased to 100,000 tons and 60,000 tons respectively.  The domestic feed industry secured an additional 324,000 tons of corn for feed through alternative biddings, since imports of the contracted volume of corn (260,000 tons) from Ukraine remains uncertain.


Food Menus Using Rose Sauce, Mint Chocolate, and Mara Sauce Were the Most Popular in Baemin Last Year

Summary:  Woowa Brothers, the operator of the food delivery platform Baemin, published the ‘Baemin Trend 2022’ based on orders made from January to December last year.  Information on customer preferences, food trends by age groups, and business strategies of stores with the highest sales are included in this report.  The number of orders for food using rose sauce (mixture of fresh cream and tomato sauce) has increased 7 times compared to 2020.  Rose sauce, which has a soft taste, goes well with a variety of foods and became popular.  The number of orders for food (especially café menus and desserts) using mint chocolate increased 2.4 times compared to 2020.  Foods with mara sauce were the most popular items among teenagers, followed by spicy tteok-bokki (stir-fried rice cake) and chicken burgers.  More people in their 40s and 50s are using Baemin to order food.  In July 2020 people aged between 40 to 59 accounted for 21% of total orders, but this increased to 27% by July of last year.


Wines and Household Goods are Increasing in Popularity

Summary:  According to Shinsegae, sales of alcoholic drinks including wines increased 17.2% during the first two months of 2022 compared to 2021.  Sales of household goods increased by 12.7% as well.  Shinsegae is planning an event under the theme of ‘Sweet Home Refresh’ for the upcoming spring season that targets people enjoying home cafes and home bars.  They offer discounts on various kinds of coffee machines, wines, tableware, premium coffee beans, and LP albums so that customers can easily enjoy coffee and wine at home.


Ministry of Food and Drug Safety: “Beware of Consuming Shellfish Such as Clams, Mussels and Sea Squirts”

Summary:  The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety is concerned about shellfish poisoning ahead of the spring season after the recent detection of shellfish toxin in the southern coast.  The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety reported on March 2nd that people should be careful about harvesting, distributing and consuming shellfish such as clams, mussels, scallops, and sea squirts until June.  Shellfish toxins are first detected in the southern area and spread to the east and west coast every March.  If one consumes paralytic toxins, which frequently occur in Korea, the area near the lips becomes paralyzed within 30 minutes and spreads to the face and may cause a serious headache and vomiting.  In severe cases, some may die within 24 hours after the ingestion due to muscle paralysis or respiratory problems.  The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety will conduct inspections on shellfish and prohibit shellfish that exceeds the permissible standards from being sold.  Since the toxins cannot be destroyed by heating or freezing, people should beware of collecting and consuming shellfish around the beach in the spring season.


Food, Beverage and Food Material Industry Is Concerned with the Intensifying Spread of Omicron

Summary:  The food, beverage and material industry is concerned that the number of schools offering remote classes may increase considering the recent spread of Omicron.  Food and milk demand for school lunch will inevitably decrease if full-time classes are canceled.  Sales of milk for schools last year were only 40% of the contract volume for major milk suppliers such as Seoul Milk and Nam-yang Milk.


‘Our Kids’ Sales Surged During the Pandemic

Summary:  ‘Our Kids’, the premium children’s food brand of Our Home, saw a 35 percent increase in its sales last year.  Our Home offers food products that vary in size, shape, and packaging to fit children’s eating habits and the consumption patterns of kindergartens and daycare centers.  These food products are made using organic agricultural ingredients and antibiotic-free animal welfare certified meat and fish.  A thorough management system was also established to ensure quality and safety.  Our Home believes the market for children’s food has high potential and it is developing new premium products.


Real (inflation-adjusted) Consumption Expenditure Decreased 2.2% in the Fourth Quarter Last Year

Summary:  According to the Korean Statistical Information Service (KOSIS), households nationwide spent a monthly average of 404,000 won on food products and non-alcoholic beverages in the last quarter of 2021.  This accounts for 15.8 percent of total consumption expenditures (2,547,000 won).  Although spending on most food products increased last year, real (inflation-adjusted) consumption expenditures decreased 2.2% from the same period in 2020.


Convenience Food Products are Becoming More Popular

Summary:  Since a growing number of consumers are prioritizing hygiene after the outbreak of Covid-19, convenience food products are gaining traction, such as fruit cups that do not require peeling and hot cake kits that can be consumed after simply shaking it.  An industry official said that more consumers prefer food products with increased convenience to avoid tearing or cutting food with their hands before eating.


Kimchi Prices are on the Rise

Summary:  The prices of major food products have been rising this year.  Kimchi prices are also on a rise.  Food processors CJ Cheil Jedang and Daesang have joined this trend.  Kimchi prices of ‘Bibigo’, a private brand of CJ, increased on average 5%.  Daesang is planning a 7% price increase.


A Premium Soju Without Additives, Won Soju, is Launched

Summary:  A pop-up store opening event for the premium soju brand Won Soju was held at The Hyundai Seoul in Yeoui-do, Seoul on February 25th.  Won Soju is distilled soju made using 100% domestic rice and no additives. Unlike diluted soju, which contains sweeteners, it has a soft and clean taste.


Sales of Scottish Single Malt Whisky ‘Glengrant’ Surged

Summary:  Trans Beverages, an imported whisky distributor, reported that the sales of the Scottish single malt whisky ‘Glengrant’ rose 365% in January this year compared to the same period of last year.  Last year’s sales (Jan-Oct) also grew by 359% compared to the same period in 2020, followed by record performances in January this year.  Trans Beverages explained that the launch of the limited edition ‘Glengrant 60 years’ in Korea has driven the sales growth.  Millennials and Gen Z are at the center of the recent whisky trend, and have led the exponential sales growth.  More Millennials and Gen Z are looking for unique single malt whiskies.  Trans Beverages said that consumption of imported alcohol drinks have risen significantly along with the home-drinking trend, even leading to shortages.  They also noted that they are focusing on securing supplies and expanding distribution channels to meet increasing demand.


Home Plus Adds a Special Convenience Food Zone ‘Dining Street’ to its Stores

Summary:  Home Plus announced on February 24 that they will actively target the convenience food market by creating the ‘Dining Street’, a special zone for convenience foods.  Frozen, refrigerated, and room temperature convenience food products are all gathered in the ‘Dining Street’.  Customers can view all kinds of HMR products at a glance.  Lee Jae Hoon, CEO of Home Plus, decided to innovate the whole business focusing on the convenience of customers.  Due to these efforts, meal kit sales in the Mega Food Market (previously Home Plus) exploded by 1,170% during the first 4 days after its renewal compared to the same period last year.  Home Plus is planning to expand ‘Dining Street’ to 100 stores across the country this year.


The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety Strengthens Inspections of Food Suppliers for Schools, Kindergartens, and Daycare Centers to Prevent Food Poisoning

Summary:  The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety held a virtual ‘Pan-Governmental Food Poisoning Countermeasures Council Meeting’ on February 23 with 34 related organizations including the Ministry of Education.  They agreed to strengthen inspections of food suppliers for schools, kindergartens, and daycare centers, and to monitor public facilities and highway rest areas using a rapid inspection vehicle.  The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs will monitor vegetables with high consumption levels that use groundwater and river water to control food poisoning bacteria and norovirus.  They will also conduct inspections on slaughterhouses and livestock farms throughout this year.


Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Introduces Fair Trade Certified Coffee Beans to 130 Stores in Korea [Inews24, 2-23-2022, Korean, OJW]

Summary:  Lotte GRS announced on February 23 that its doughnut franchise Krispy Kreme will offer Fair Trade certified coffee at 130 stores across the country.  Krispy Kreme’s Fairtrade beans are 100% Arabica beans which are produced and imported directly from Brazil, Ethiopia, and Honduras.  Using Fair Trade certified coffee beans not only improves the quality of coffee, but also supports a sustainable life for producers by guaranteeing a minimum price and providing incentives.  Lotte GRS was the first in the Korean coffee industry to introduce Fair Trade certified coffee (‘Mexican Cristobal’) at Angel-In-Us stores after signing an MOU with the Korean branch of the International Fair-Trade Organization in 2019.


Nongshim Raises Snack Prices

Summary:  The prices of Nongshim’s snack items will increase on average 6% starting on March 1.  It is the first time since November 2018 that Nongshim raised snack prices.  22 brands are included in the price rise.  The price of major snack items such as ‘Honey Twist’, ‘Postek’, and ‘Onion Cracker’ will increase 6.3%, and the price of ‘Shrimp Cracker’ will increase 7.2%.  A Nongshim official explained that the price increase was due to the hike in international market prices of palm oil (up 176%) and wheat (up 52%), as well as increased logistics costs during the last three years.


Inspections for All Imported Food Products will be Held Every 5 Years

Summary:  The 5-year periodic inspection system was implemented starting February 22, 2017.  In the meantime, only high-risk products were subject to random sampling tests after the first inspection.  But as the expiration date of the initial test is on the 22nd of this month, the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety will conduct detailed inspections on all imported food products which have not undergone random sampling tests after the initial inspection.  The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety promised to provide safer products by strengthening the safety management of imported food.



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