Futures at stake, marketers see opportunity in CSAT

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Futures at stake, marketers see opportunity in CSAT

Masks and other disinfection items are displayed at a local supermarket in Seoul ahead of the College Scholastic Ability Test (CSAT) on Thursday. [YONHAP]

Masks and other disinfection items are displayed at a local supermarket in Seoul ahead of the College Scholastic Ability Test (CSAT) on Thursday. [YONHAP]

 
This year, various disinfection items and health supplements are offered by retailers to help students stay safe and strong during the pandemic. As usual, sweets and items for keeping warm are also dominating the market shelves.
 
The test, scheduled to take place on Dec. 3, is happening for the first time in December, instead of the usual time of the third week of November.
 
E-commerce operators have established special sections for items offered at discounted rates until the test date. As hygiene products and masks have become must-bring materials to the test location for test takers this year, Market Kurly has rolled out masks from a range of brands like Welkeeps, Kleenex and Etiqa at discounted prices. The options include packages of KF-94 masks and KF-AD masks. KF is the Korean standard for masks approved by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety. KF-94 masks filter 94 percent or more of airborne contaminants, and AD masks, short for anti-droplet, are ultra-thin masks designed to block liquids. The company also offers portable hand wash and scented disinfectant spray. Those from Jenny House, Seoul Cosmetics and Antitox are discounted from 10 to 30 percent.
 
Coupang has similarly been offering discounts for a range of alcohol-based hand sanitizers from domestic companies, including Aekyung Industrial. Coupang said some of the individually packaged items have already been sold out. Coupang also offers disinfection sprays, mostly in bulk, which can be used to wipe belongings and other surfaces.
 
Some companies are pushing items for the brain. Hyundai Department Store’s promotion for students in middle and high schools includes nutritional food designed to enhance thinking and recall. Dietitian’s Curated Grocer, a Hyundai Green Food subsidiary, offers five meal sets of Korean cuisine, which contain omega-3, glutamic acid and other nutrients known to facilitate good memory and overall wellness. A note attached to each meal sets the order for consumption so that the nutrients can be absorbed well in the body. The options include the salmon and marinated bulgogi set, grilled mackerel and Korean-style meatball set. The set is each priced at 10,000 won ($9).
 
Orion targets those looking for brain boosters. The snack company behind Choco Pie released boxes with three of its most popular energy bars: Dr. You Energy Bar, Dr. You Protein Bar and Hot Break. Dr. You is a health brand under Orion with a focus on a balanced diet. The set is part of the company’s #needsnacks series, which is Orion's theme-based snack package. This year’s CSAT promotion aims to provide test takers with bars containing concentrated amounts of high-energy nutrients, like carbohydrates and fat as well as vitamins.
 
As concerns for health has become the key for test takers, items to enhance immunity are also widely available for promotions. Market Kurly’s CSAT promotion includes vitamin supplements and some higher-end herbal and natural remedies, such as red ginseng juice and syrups designed to boost immunity. Leading up to Dec. 2, items like Lutein Eye Care and Vitamin C gummies are on sale on the e-commerce site at discounts ranging from 10 to 45 percent. Coupang offers healthy versions of Korean taffy containing natural sugars and herbal medicine. KakaoTalk has jumped on the bandwagon, targeting those wishing to deliver gifts in a contactless manner.
 
Kakao’s KakaoTalk Gift delivery service is promoting a range of items for CSAT, offering premium snacks like chocolates and rice cakes at discounted prices. Some products are exclusive to the platform, such as handmade chocolate sets from Como Siempre and probiotics set from Chong Kun Dang Pharmaceutical. Users can send them to their friends via the KakaoTalk messenger.  
 
“Ahead of CSAT, gifts for teens as well as those suited to those in their 40s and 50s, those presumed to be the students' parents' age, have been rising in demand on Kakao Commerce,” said a manager at Kakao Commerce. “With the rise in demand for ‘untact’ gift delivery during the pandemic, there have been more gifts with diverse prices and more age groups that use the service."
 
BY LEE JEE-YOUNG   [lee.jeeyoung1@joongang.co.kr]
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