Market Information   >   Food News Clipping

Food News Clipping

April 23 - 27, 2023


FAS/Seoul Monitoring of Media Reporting on Agricultural Issues 

Today's Date: Friday,  April 28,  2023

For Coverage:  April 23 ~ 27, 2023

Fried Chicken Chain BHC Opens Singapore Branch  

Summary: Fried chicken franchise BHC opened its first branch in Singapore.  The branch opened Wednesday on the second floor of Marina Square shopping mall complex.  Singapore food and beverage retailer Haomart will run the restaurant under a master franchise agreement.  Under the agreement, one company is granted the right to open all the locations in an area specified.  BHC directly runs two branches in Hong Kong, and one in Malaysia under a master franchise agreement.  


BBQ to Open Location in Panama, Its First in Central America  

Summary: Genesis BBQ , a fried chicken franchise company based in Korea, will open a first branch in Central America next month.  The store will open on May 17 in San Francisco, Panama City.  The region is known to have heavy food traffic with variety of cafes, restaurant franchises and pubs.  Customers will be able to have chicken and beer at the location.  Exact menu items are undecided, but the chicken franchise said dishes will be similar to those at the branch in Manhattan, New York.  BBQ has over 700 branches globally in 57 countries, including the United States, Canada, Japan, Taiwan, Germany and Fiji.    

Homeplus Appeals to Customers with Good-quality, Low-price Products  

Summary: Homeplus initiated a "price stabilization project" for the first time among all large retail stores in Korea last year to alleviate the burden of rising prices.  It plans to maintain the project this year to help customers deal with high prices.  The project has been successful due to the popularity of the company's private brand, Homeplus Signature, which has seen a 33 percent increase in sales compared to 2019.  From January to March this year, online sales of Homeplus Signature also increased by 36 percent compared to the same period last year.  Homeplus Signature has made strides not only in household goods but also in fresh food.  It offers a wide range of fresh produce, including premium Korean beef, seasonal fruits, and vegetables, which have also been well-received by customers. 

Fried Chicken Franchises under Pressure to Freeze Prices  

Summary: Major local fried chicken franchises are coming under pressure to freeze prices, as recommended by the food ministry, seeking to curb inflation, according to market watchers on Monday.  Driving the guidance are soaring expenses needed to dine out in the broader context of a spike in the overall cost of living over the past few months, led by sellers of fried chicken and beverages.  The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs held a meeting with the food and beverage franchise industry on April 21.  Among those in attendance were officials of Kyochon, bhc, Genesis BBQ, Mom’s Touch and Starbucks Korea.  The government recommended against further increases in prices of the popular food items.  The government recommended a maximum price increase to 3,000 won ($2.25) for a bucket of fried chicken. 

Sugar's Sweet Rally Hits Food Makers and Sweet-toothed Alike  

Summary: A steep rise in the price of sugar is pushing up the prices of a wide range of products, including snacks, ice cream and beverages.  The price of Lotte Wellfood'sPepero and Kkokkalcorn rose 13.3 percent to 1,700 won this year, while the company’s World Cone ice cream rose 20 percent to 1,200 won.  Binggrae'sMelona ice cream rose 25 percent to 1,500 won.  Sugar is becoming more expensive due to tight global supply.  Higher temperatures and heavy rains have led to a decrease in production, while an increase in energy prices due to the war in Ukraine has led to using sugarcane to produce ethanol instead of sugar.  Sugar is one of the primary ingredients in the confectionery business, directly affecting the price of processed foods, such as bread, snacks, ice cream and beverages.  The consumer price index rose 4.2 percent in March on year, but for confectioneries, the figure rose 9.1 percent, according to Statistics Korea — bread prices were up 10.8 percent, and snacks 11.2 percent on year. 

OB Urged to Diversify Product Portfolio  

Summary: Oriental Brewery (OB) is facing growing calls to diversify its product portfolio as it generates more than half of its sales from the Cass brand of lager, according to industry officials Sunday.  Annual sales of Cass lager are estimated to be over 1 trillion won ($750.7 million), which accounts for at least 64 percent of the firm's 1.56 trillion won in sales last year.  Against this backdrop, OB has been trying to launch a series of new brands over the past few years, but to no avail.  In the meantime, its original lager beer, Cass, has been selling well and its sales and operating profit jumped 16 percent and 38 percent, year-on-year, reaching 1.56 trillion won and 361.7 billion won, respectively, last year.  Its operating profit was at a record-high after a drop in 2019 to 2021.  This year, OB is boosting its Hanmac beer product as the pandemic has entered the endemic stage. 

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