Retailers focus on convenience in competitive food market
Retailers are expanding their range of ready-made dishes and prepackaged kits as consumers search for more convenient options in an increasingly competitive market.
Sales of meal kits have soared this year as more people value convenience and practicality.
Meal kit sales at SSG.com, Emart’s online store, shot up 450 percent on year from January through July this year, leading the growth of the retailer's home meal replacement market.
Meal kits contain pre-portioned and often partially-prepared ingredients and recipes, allowing customers to easily prepare home-cooked meals.
Last year, sales of meal kits jumped 440 percent on year.
Mille-feuille nabe, a type of Japanese hot pot, was the most popular meal kit on SSG.com. A total of 50,000 of the product were sold from January through July.
The growing number of single or two-people households and the growing preference for fancy yet simple dishes at home are the primary reasons behind the meal kits boom, according to SSG.com. The increased time spent at home due to Covid-19 and the recent popularity of camping also contributed to the sales rise.
As meal kits become more popular, the online retailer is increasing its range. It currently sells 240 meal kits, with more to come in the second half of this year.
SSG.com “will provide differentiating points like private products through collaboration with Shinsegae group affiliates,” said Choi Taik-won, marketing and merchandise senior vice president at SSG.com.
As more people start to value convenience, Hyundai Department Store plans launched a subscription service delivering side dishes today.
The department store chain announced on Wednesday it launched the service at 10 of its branches, including the main branch in Apgujeong-dong in southern Seoul. The service is available in Seoul and some surrounding areas, including Ilsan, Gyeonggi.
Side dishes cooked in the morning are delivered later in the day once every week. They are offered at a price 10 to 30 percent lower than in store.
The price of the service differs depending on the number of side dishes the customer chooses. They range from 100,000 won ($84) to 160,000 won.
Hyundai Department Store saw sales of side dishes from January through July this year rise 16.3 percent on year.
Dongwon Home Food renewed its online mall that sells side dishes on Tuesday, strengthening its lineup “to meet the rapidly rising online food market.”
It plans to add restaurant meal replacement products, which are packaged dishes featuring items from restaurant menus, as more people have become used to purchasing food online.
According to Statistics Korea data in February, 16.96 trillion won was spent on food online last year, up 25 percent on year.
BY JIN MIN-JI [firstname.lastname@example.org]