Convenience stores improve their meal selection

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Convenience stores improve their meal selection

7-Eleven released a lunch box named Signature Kimchi Fried Rice. [7-ELEVEN]

7-Eleven released a lunch box named Signature Kimchi Fried Rice. [7-ELEVEN]

As more people avoid restaurants to protect themselves from Covid-19, convenience store lunch boxes are becoming more popular. The chains are now offering more sophisticated and diverse lunch boxes.
 
7-Eleven released a Kimchi Fried Rice lunch box, a Korean-favorite home-cooked meal, early this month. Jointly developed with Lotte R&D Center and Lotte Foods, 7-Eleven’s Signature Kimchi Fried Rice went through 15 different prototypes.
 
GS Retail’s GS25 convenience store franchise introduced a premium rice bowl range priced around 4,000 won ($3.30) to follow the trend of high quality convenience store lunch boxes. In collaboration with restaurant chain Bulgogi Brothers, the lunchboxes feature the restaurant's specialty, bulgogi.  
 
CU has launched the most expensive Wando abalone gamtae gimbap in the 30-year history of convenience stores. [CU]

CU has launched the most expensive Wando abalone gamtae gimbap in the 30-year history of convenience stores. [CU]

The CU chain launched the most expensive gimbap (seaweed rice rolls) in the 30-year history of convenience stores last month. Wando Abalone Gamtae Gimbap is made from top-quality Korean ingredients, including gamtae, a type of seaweed from Seosan in South Chungcheong; abalone from Wando in South Jeolla; and the Shindongjin variety of rice harvested from Honam plain, the nation's granary. Its selling price of 8,900 won is more than four times the price of an average gimbap, which is around 2,000 won at convenience stores.

 
7-Eleven introduced a low-calorie lunch box called Slim Meal. [7-ELEVEN]

7-Eleven introduced a low-calorie lunch box called Slim Meal. [7-ELEVEN]

Low-calorie meals can also be found in convenience store lunch box sections. 7- Eleven's new Slim Meal series introduced for the summer season includes a lunch box with a calorie count of less than 400 calories.
 
Better convenience store lunch boxes have given rise to the new term "convenience restaurant," suggesting that convenience stores offer restaurant-quality meals. Although their prices are relatively high, they are selling well.
 
Wando Abalone Gamtae Gimbap virtually sold out after its launch, ranking first among 20 gimbap products sold by CU.
 
For GS25, sales of rice bowls have increased 36.1 percent since the launch of premium rice bowls.
 
"Consumers are enjoying our gimbap made with high-quality ingredients that were not easily found at convenience stores,” Kim Jung-hoon, head of BGF Retail's product development team, said. BGF Retail runs the CU chain.
 
Sales of lunch boxes at convenience stores have been soaring since last week because of the opening of elementary and middle schools, which had been postponed due to the coronavirus crisis.
 
According to CU's analysis of sales trends near schools and hagwon (private cram schools), sales of gimbap have increased 44.9 percent since the opening of schools compared to last year between May 20 and June 10.
 
Along with gimbap, sales of sausages increased 23.7 percent, bread 24.3 percent, fried foods 24.8 percent and cup noodles 20.8 percent compared to the same period last year.
 
"As elementary, middle and high schools opened, commercial districts around the school are gaining vitality," Lim Min-jae, head of BGF Retail's sales planning team, said. "Now that emergency disaster relief funds can be used, the number of orders for major products has increased 1.5 to 2 times compared to the previous month."
 
BY MOON HEE-CHUL   [kim.yeonah@joongang.co.kr]

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