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Trend of Korean food market




This year, the Korean food industry is expected to see more hopeful business prospects than last year, as food raw material businesses are regaining strength on the back of a drop in raw sugar prices after a jump in the first half of last year, and the THADD problem, which got in the way of the country’s exports to China, is expected to be put to an end.


According to LinkAztec, Home Meal Replacement (HMR), which goes in step with the consumption trend of seeking cost effectiveness and an increase in single-person households, has made greater inroads into the local processed food market. In the domestic HMR market, in which technological prowess has shown progress, third-generation HMR products appeared to enjoy popularity among consumers as a result of their sophistication in quality and diversification as meals similar to those served at good restaurants.


The increase in the number of single-person households also led the growth of the spring water market. The spring water markethas grown more than two-fold from the 300 billion won-plus level in 2010 to somewhere close to 740 billion won last year. Those in the industry expect that it will grow to somewhere close to 1 trillion won by 2020.


The growth of the packed kimchi market is also noticeable. The market, which remained at the 140 billion won level in 2014, grew to somewhere close to 170 billion won by 2016 and then to the 200 billion won level by last year. Market observers say that the meat goods category will see a noticeable growth in HMR and RTE (Ready to Eat) or RTH (Ready to Heat) type goods.


The market for room-temperature meal replacements like cup rice soup, pouch-type bibimbap, and deopbap rice is also expected to record continued growth. Frozen food goods will also record continued growth.


Experts judged that the so-called two-track strategy for simultaneously introducing cost-effective products and premium products onto the market would be an effective strategy amid bipolarized consumption. They also advised that the key to success in the food business was catching up with groups of consumers such as those nicknamed YOLO (You Only live Once) and “For Me.”


As for the market for soda, spring water, coffee, etc., it is expected that the market will record a single-digit growth as in last year, but the businesses are expected to engage in fiercer competition in the development of new products focusing on low calorie/sugar/nutrient and functional beverages.


The meat processing industry is making stride, particularly in canned sausage, bacon, and ham, and the businesses are expected to strive to improve the quality of their products to stay ahead of the competition. As for the sauce/paste industry, products packaged in small quantities are expected to enjoy popularity amongst expectations of declines in growth due to factors such as the westernization of dietary life and an increase in the number of single-person households.


It will be HMR that will lead the growth of the domestic food industry this year as in last year. Goods that follow the footsteps of consumers’ lifestyles will enjoy popularity. Market observers say that traditional HMR products that are easy to cook and make seniors feel nostalgic about the past will also enjoy popularity.








Source: The Food & Beverage News (https://www.thinkfood.co.kr) 

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