Market Information   >   Food News Clipping

Food News Clipping

May 10 - 16, 2024


FAS/Seoul Monitoring of Media Reporting on Agricultural Issues 

Today's Date: Friday, May 17,  2024

For Coverage:  May 10 ~ 16, 2024

More Modern Makgeolli
Summary:  Korea's traditional rice-based alcohol, makgeolli, was previously viewed as outdated and low-quality.  However, the younger generation is currently innovating the products through the introduction of modern flavors and trendy branding.  With a surge in popularity driven by social media, flavored makgeolli variants are changing the market, prompting breweries to expand their offerings.  Major convenience store franchises like GS25 and CU are capitalizing on this trend by launching unique makgeolli flavors targeting Millennials and Generation Z consumers.  Collaborations with local confectionery companies and the introduction of innovative flavors such as basil, fruit-infused, and Kaymak-inspired makgeolli are driving sales growth, all aiming to provide more choices for the evolving preferences of the MZ generation.


Nongshim in Europe
Summary:  After Nongshim lost its top spot in Korea’s instant noodle market to Samyang noodles, it is expanding its presence in France by offering a broader range of instant noodle products and snacks through top retailers E.Leclerc and Carrefour starting in June.  Nongshim plans to enter other European markets like Spain and Italy, as well as Northern Europe through partnerships with local retailers.  Due to Nongshim’s success of its second factory in the United States, it has boosted sales and facilitated the introduction of new flavors.  The company aims to further enhance its production capacity by creating a dedicated factory in Korea for exports to Europe and Asia and establishing a sales branch in Europe.

Embracing Vegan Food

Summary:  The global food and beverage industry has turned to naturalism, with temple food emerging as a symbol of the vegetarian trend as the demand for vegan and plant-based diets grows.  CJ CheilJedang and Shinsegae Food have introduced temple-style products like red bean porridge and lotus leaf sticky rice pies, focusing on natural ingredients and cultural authenticity.  Ottogi has collaborated with a renowned temple cuisine restaurant to launch home meal replacements (HMR) with unique ingredients in order to potentially expand beyond religious food into healthy and vegan diets.

CJ CheilJedang’s Expansion Plans
  Within the first quarter, CJ CheilJedang reported an operating profit of 267 billion won (77.5%+) driven by strong overseas performance and domestic cost-cutting.  Overseas sales saw substantial growth, particularly in Australia and Europe.  Sales increased by 0.8 percent, with significant gains in operating profit and sales attributed to key products like Bibigo dumplings and instant rice.  However, CJ CheilJedang continues to make plans to expand K-food in Europe through a local subsidiary in France.  Their bio business also experienced gains, while the animal feed subsidiary recorded an operating loss.


Rise of K-Food in Australia
Summary:  CJ CheilJedang has launched Korean-style gimbap products at Woolworths, Australia's largest supermarket chain, marking the first time these items are available in the country's mainstream distribution channel.  CJ has released products that cater specifically to Australian consumer preferences through their Bibigo Bulgogi Gimbap, made with plant-based ingredients.  These products, along with their gyozas are now sold in over 1,000 Woolworths stores.  CJ CheilJedang aims to further penetrate the Australian market by prioritizing K-food strategic products like gimbap and intends to focus on entering local mainstream distribution channels while securing local production facilities for expansion.

Falling Food Satisfaction
Summary:  According to a report released by the Korea Rural Economic Institute, there has been a decline in South Korean consumers' satisfaction with processed food in 2023.  A survey of 2,000 households has shown a drop in satisfaction for the third consecutive year in the price and safety category.  The recent increase in processed food prices, rising by 6.8 percent in 2023, likely contributed to the dissatisfaction.  Noodles were identified as the main contributor to the overall cost increase, with taste being the primary criterion for consumers when purchasing processed foods.


Fading Tanghulu Craze

Summary:  Tanghulu, a once popular treat among students, has experienced a decline in popularity, leading to numerous store closures and sales listings.  Despite its previous surge in popularity and expansive franchise stores, factors such as rising fruit costs, health concerns, and changing food trends among the youth have contributed to its decline.  Many store owners are grappling with the rapid shift and uncertain future of the Tanghulu market, with some attributing its decline to shorter trend cycles and shifting consumer preferences towards healthier alternatives like yogurt ice cream.

Soju… Most Recognized Korean Alcoholic Drink
Summary:  According to 2023 Overseas Korean Food Consumer Survey, conducted on 9,000 adults in 18 major cities worldwide from last August to October by Korean Food Promotion Institute, Soju (a Korean clear distilled alcoholic drink) has emerged as the most recognized Korean alcoholic beverage among international consumers.  The survey showed that 41.1 percent of participants identified soju as a familiar Korean alcoholic drink, surpassing beer at 31.6 percent.  Among those surveyed, 35.1 percent cited taste as the reason for drinking Korean alcoholic drinks, while 16 percent said recommendations by others, and 15.5 percent said their appearances on K-dramas and movies.  The survey also indicated a growing appetite for Korean flavors and culinary traditions and that Korean food continues to gain awareness globally.

More Chicken in the EU

Summary:  Korea's traditional chicken dish, Samgyetang, is set to make its debut in the European Union (EU).  Led by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, along with exporters like Maniker F&G and Harim, the first shipment of 8.4 tons is bound for Germany through the port of Busan, with plans to expand to all 27 EU member states.  This milestone is expected to significantly boost the export value of chicken products, including samgyetang.  Moreover, preparations are underway to introduce various chicken-based foods such as frozen chicken, dumplings, and fried rice to the EU market, further driving the growth of K-food exports.  The Ministry of Agriculture and Food aims to promote Korean chicken products through local food fairs and consumer experience events in the EU.

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