Convenience stores improve their meal selection
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.
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 [firstname.lastname@example.org]