Market Information   >   Food News Clipping

Food News Clipping

April 5 - 18, 2024


FAS/Seoul Monitoring of Media Reporting on Agricultural Issues 

Today's Date: Friday, April 19,  2024

For Coverage:  April 5 ~ 18, 2024

Japan’s Newest Chicken Chain

Summary:  After a successful three-week pop-up store last October, Mom’s Touch entered the Japanese fast-food restaurant market with its first direct store overseas in Shibuya, Tokyo.  This venue was originally the former site of a McDonald's Japan for 39 years located in one of the busiest hubs near Shibuya Station.  Kim Dong-won, CEO of Mom's Touch, expressed plans to transform Shibuya Mom's Touch into a key destination for K-burgers, aiming to establish a foothold in the global market.  Shibuya Mom's Touch showcases popular menu items tailored to Japanese tastes while maintaining Mom's Touch's handmade cooking approaches.  Mom’s Touch also plans to seek a local partner for franchise operations in Japan to expedite market penetration alongside the store's launch.

Prices Surge After Election

Summary:  Following the general election, the food, dining, and essential goods manufacturing sectors, once cautious of government oversight, are now initiating price hikes.  Fried chicken and burger sectors have already implemented price hikes, with Goobne and Popeyes increasing prices by significant margins.  Differential pricing policies, such as higher prices for delivery orders, are also being introduced.  Analysts predict that this trend will continue across other food and retail establishments likely to adjust prices due to rising costs.

Craft Beer and Korean Food
Summary:  A special dinner event was held in Seoul, blending American craft beer with Korean cuisine, hosted by the U.S. Embassy’s Agricultural Trade Office (ATO), featuring Executive Chef Adam and Soojung Kim of the Beer Association (BA).  This event aimed to showcase the unique pairing of American craft beer and food.  Lisa Allen, Director of the ATO, highlighted the rarity of such pairings, emphasizing the opportunity to explore the quality and variety of U.S. craft beers alongside specific dishes.  Steve Parr, international relations director at BA, underscored the association's commitment to promoting craft beer globally, with South Korea emerging as a key importer.  Chef Adam and Chef Kim Su-jung curated a menu combining familiar Korean dishes like fried chicken and galbi with the diverse flavors of craft beer, offering attendees a novel culinary experience.

Australia’s Own Kimchi Plant
Summary:  CJ CheilJedang started local production of kimchi in Australia in response to the increased demand for freshly pickled kimchi by utilizing local ingredients.  The company has reformulated 10 existing kimchi products for export while enhancing shelf life and texture using advanced fermentation technology.  Not only have they promoted Korean culture within Australia, but they have also expanded their production capabilities in North America by acquiring a local kimchi manufacturer.  With exports to over 50 countries, including the U.S., Japan, Vietnam, and Australia, CJ CheilJedang’s ‘Bibigo kimchi’ has experienced a 20 percent increase in global sales last year, mainly attributed to patented lactobacillus, high-quality ingredients and localized product lines tailored to each market's demands.

Make Way for AI Food

Summary:  Hyundai Green Food in collaboration with Ulsan Hyundai Mobis Phoebus introduced the GREATING Athlete program, which utilizes AI technology to create menus specifically designed for sports players.  These tailored menus are based on player body composition, dietary habits, and allergy considerations.  For instance, if a player tends to be more power-forward, then meals containing double the average content of protein are recommended.  Although the costs endured were 20% higher than normal, Hyundai Green Food remains optimistic about the demand for personalized dietary plans.  The South Korean food service industry overall has seen increased usage of technological innovations like AI to optimize menus and ingredient management, with companies like Samsung Welstory and CJ Freshway incorporating robotics to streamline operations and alleviate labor shortages.


Increased Foreign Worker Employment  

Summary:  The Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs is contemplating expanding the eligibility for non-professional working visas (E-9) to foreign nationals across various cuisines, not limited to Korean restaurants, due to emerging labor shortages within the industry.  Last November, the ministry permitted migrant workers to work in Korean restaurants, but operators of non-Korean eateries have also advocated for the same authorization.  Initially, the ministry had limited the scope to Korean food restaurants to gradually implement the new labor law due to the significant portion of Korean restaurants.  However, the ministry is now planning to expand its current foreign applications to other restaurant types.  The ministry has also initiated a research project to evaluate employment opportunities for E-9 visa holders within the hospitality sector, aiming to address labor shortages and assess restaurant operators' needs.


Food & Beverage Profits Everywhere!

Summary:  According to records released by the Korea Exchange, the total sales, operating profit, and net profit of 35 companies listed on the stock market saw an increase from the previous year.  While overall sales and operating profit declined by 2.1% and 45.0%, respectively, net profit surged by 22.2%.  Notably, the food and beverage sector saw a rise in sales (3.2%+) and operating profits (8.1%+) with a total net profit of 1.6959 trillion KRW (31.0%+).  Out of these companies, CJ CheilJedang, Lotte Chilsung Beverage, Orion, Ottogi and several others emerged with the highest operating and net profit figures.

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Agricultural Trade Office, U.S. Embassy - Seoul
Tel: 82-2-6951-6848 Fax: 82-2-720-7921