House brands are hot at CU, GS

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House brands are hot at CU, GS

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In-house products with reasonable prices and high quality boosted sales at local convenience stores this year. Among them, dosirak, or Korean packaged meals, left, and brewed coffee were the most popular. [BGF, 7-ELEVEN]

In-house brands or so-called private-brand products were best-sellers at convenience stores this year due to reasonably priced yet high-quality items.

Coffee brewed in-house was a sales standout, CU, GS25, 7-Eleven and Mini Stop said on Tuesday.

Sales of CU’s private coffee label Delaffe rose 63 percent year-on-year from January to October and was the ninth most popular item sold in the stores.

“One can drink about three to four cups of brewed coffee at convenience stores with the same money that it costs for drinking coffee at coffee franchises,” CU said in a statement. “With a reasonable price and high-quality flavor, private-brand coffee became a go-to item for convenience store visitors.”

GS25 also saw a demand for its coffee brand Cafe25, which it introduced in December 2015. It was the fourth most popular item. GS25 said it has sold more than 20 million cups since its launch.

7-Eleven, which is operated by Lotte Group, introduced its in-house coffee Seven Cafe last year, however, it wasn’t until the latter half that it was selling products nationwide.

It still was the best-seller of all items at its branches, outperforming steady sellers like soju, bottled water and canned coffee. A spokeswoman said 7-Eleven sells an average of 120,000 cups of Seven Cafe daily.

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Dosirak, or Korean prepared meals with rice and assorted side dishes, were also hot sellers. They cost an average of 3,000 won ($2.57).

CU said sales of dosirak hit the top 10 for the first time in 27 years. One of the dosirak products named after celebrity restaurateur Paik Jong-won was the 10th best-seller. Sales of dosirak products at CU jumped 2.9 times compared to the same period last year.

“The rising number of single households as well as a diverse dosirak lineup, including menu items like sausage stew, catapulted their popularity,” said a BGF Retail spokesman.

Sales of dosirak at GS25 jumped a record high of 174.6 percent year-on-year, according to GS Retail. GS25’s dosirak brands marketed by veteran actress Kim Hye-ja and celebrity restaurateur Hong Seok-cheon also ranked in the top 10 for the first time based on sales performance.

Collaboration of private-brand items with popular characters also boosted sales.

GS25 launched milk products with Illumination studio’s Minions characters, and they have ranked in the top five among dairy sellers since launch.

In April, 7-Eleven introduced small figurines from the popular Japanese comic “One Piece” and sold out of its 220,000-piece inventory. It also launched umbrellas in collaboration with Kakao Friends in July. Sales of umbrellas soared 34.1 percent in July compared to the same period last year.

“This year, convenience stores’ private-brand products were able to satisfy consumers’ preferences and started leading the trend for the first time,” said a 7-Eleven spokesman. “We will strive further to make these products a steady-selling category.”


BY JIN EUN-SOO [jin.eunsoo@joongang.co.kr]

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