Gifts trends change for earlier Chuseok holiday

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Gifts trends change for earlier Chuseok holiday

With the Chuseok harvest festival set to begin early next month, retailers are already preparing different gift packages ready for this year’s holiday.

Emart on Wednesday said it predicts refrigerated Korean beef will be more popular than frozen beef this year, considering that the holiday falls earlier - on Sept. 13 compared to Sept. 24 last year - when the weather is warmer.

The retailer said past sales patterns show an average 30 percent of Chuseok gift package sales are refrigerated Korean beef. But on years when the holiday arrives earlier, like in 2014, sales of refrigerated beef rose to 36 percent.

The difference is likely because a typical gift of frozen beef primarily consists of braised short ribs, which is less popular in the summer.

A gift that consists of various cuts of refrigerated beef will cost 270,000 won ($220) at Emart.

The price of large fruits like pears and apples will likely increase as their quality declines due to the earlier Chuseok season.

According to Emart, the sales success of retailers for Chuseok this year will be a matter of how well they secure fruits since they usually don’t start to get delivered until early September.

“The early Chuseok is changing the consumption trend of gift packages, and buyers are attempting to secure quantity at a stable price,” said a spokesperson for Emart.

Orga Whole Foods from Pulmuone said Wednesday it has already started receiving pre-orders for some 160 different Chuseok gift packages.

Some of the offerings include diet fresh produces like wild pine mushrooms, ginseng and deodeok (bonnet bellflower root), as well as antibiotic-free meat.

Homeplus said it has not yet decided the exact details for its Chuseok gift packages.

The retailer said it plans to specify items by late August, but expects a pack of daily necessities as well as agricultural, marine and meat products to be well-received.

“Gifts for holiday are usually affected by the climate and the harvest season since they largely consist of agricultural, marine and meat products, so it is a little early to determine what gifts we will offer for Chuseok this year,” said a spokesperson for Homeplus.

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