Food Forward 2014 Korea Report(English)


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Weber Shandwick, global public relations agency, released Food Forward Trends Report 2014 Korea, predicting the biggest trends in food industry for 2014.

Food Forward Trends Report 2014 Korea surveyed more than 750 Korean consumers and food experts nationwide, including food critics, chefs, and cooking experts, to find how these food and lifestyle trends impact upon corporations, industry bodies and policy makers; and how these trends will fuel further discussion between retailers, brands and consumers. The objective of the report is to understand the biggest trends and changes in food industry to relative officials and consumers.

In addition, Food Forward Trend Report 2014 study was also conducted in Australia, China and Singapore to help better understanding of the food trends on Asia-Pacific regions.

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Food Forward 2014 Korea Report(English)

  2. 2. A country’s food culture – from health standards to trendy foodies to social sharing – can be seen as a litmus test to the diversity of that nation. Certainly it is food culture that has largely shaped civilisations and will no doubt continue to be a measurement of both living standards and social trends for generations to come. As a global public relations agency, Weber Shandwick considers it our mission to be at the forefront of trends that engage others, not only in the communications sector but in each industry that we work in. And food trends are no different. Food Forward Trends Report 2014 draws on insights from food experts across the country and from a survey of more than 750 Korean consumers, conducted by Weber Shandwick and survey company Qualtrics, to predict the biggest trends this year. “We are delighted to present our Food Forward report for the first time in Korea,” said Ihn Chee, senior vice president, Weber Shandwick Korea. “Our research outlines the most relevant trends in the sector today, and we see it as a valuable resource for food industry marketers and retailers.” From Affordable Luxury to “Hip”-bab: The Taste of Home, both expert insights and consumer trends suggest Korean diets are being reshaped during 2014. The goal for our research is to provide insights that can be shared among brands, retailers and consumers and to engage our everyday thinking about Korean food culture. Food Forward 201401 FOOD FORWARD 2014
  3. 3. Food Forward 201402 TREND Oneofthemostprominenttrendsthisyearwillbemoreoptionsin,andaccessibility to, Korea’s modern premium food market. As Korean consumers continue to feel the insecurities of long-term economic uncertainty, they are finding alternative ways to treat themselves beyond high-end handbags, watches and international holidays. Experts predict that this search for smaller splurges will lead to a rise in preference for exotic, premium foods. 01 Affordable luxury – new, exotic and accessible “Historically, Korea hasn’t had a major gap between socioeconomic classes when it comes to food and dining, and premium food products and r elatively expensive imported ingredients were thought to be consumed by only a select niche group of foodie trend setters,” explained Eun-suk Lee, editor-in-chief of magazine CookAnd. “Prior to the financial crisis, more Koreans had begun to acquire a taste for both gourmet and foreign options, as income levels, education, and overseas travel rose- until 2008 reigned in big spending. In the midst of prolonged economic recession, even as consumers continue to hold off on major international travel or purchasing designer bags, they now see gourmet foods as one area where they can splurge. It’s a luxury that’s psychologically satisfying at a low cost, and one place that consumers will find immediate gratification and pleasure, even as economic stresses continue.” A mere 3% of respondents have seen no recent rise in the variety of products and brands available in stores, compared to 32% who said there has been ‘quite a bit’ to ‘an extreme amount’ of increased variety – a shift consumers are seeming to embrace. Nearly two-thirds (62%) of those surveyed say they shop for foreign produced food at least sometimes. And despite higher costs, while the majority of consumers do continue to shop at local/conventional supermarkets, this 20% is a noteworthy minority, considering the fact that most premium markets only reached Korea in late 2012. In the midst of prolonged economic recession, even as consumers continue to hold off on major international travel or purchasing designer bags, they now see gourmet foods as one area where they can splurge. Eun-suk Lee editor-in-chief of magazine CookAnd
  4. 4. Do you feel that there has been a recent increase in choice for food in Korea with regards to variety, products and brands? Food Forward 201403 65% Some 6% Anextreme amount 3% None 26% Quiteabit Today, Koreans often choose to splurge on exotic desserts, as seen by the successful openings of local shops featuring Belgium’s premium chocolates and famous French macaroons. Experts predict that the preference for premium sweets will continue, but that we can expect to see new combinations offering a mix of familiar and new high-end flavours. “Retro foods with luxurious touches, such as premium soft ice cream with honey chips, or ice flakes made with organic local red bean paste and milk, are an increasing trend in the local market,” explained Sung-yoon Kim, food journalist from Chosun Ilbo. “Korean consumers are relying on that kind of nostalgic soul food to provide a bit of an escape from their stressful lives, and they’re willing to spend more for those premium touches that provide instant gratification. The result has been greater demand for a wider variety of food options in the premium space in Korea.” Of course, costs will certainly continue to dominate most purchasing decisions; 63% of consumers surveyed said price was a key factor in their grocery choices. But as experts such as Lee and Kim highlighted, we can expect to see premium options become more accessible, as consum- ers continue pampering themselves through purchasing top-shelf treats and exploring new flavours and cultures through food. 32% Asubstantial increasein choice. Whichofthefollowingmostaffectsyourgrocery choices? 16% Brand 53% What’s in season 63% Price or special offer 49% Local produce 53% I buy the ingredients I need 6%Idon’tcaresomuch aboutthecost, aslongasit’s convenient
  5. 5. 88% 20% 4% Where do you most commonly shop for your food? Food Forward 201404 35% ConvenienceStore&SmallRetailMarket (e.g.7-Eleven,GS25,E-mart Everyday,HomePlusExpress) 36% 33% FreshFoodFarmersMarket SUPERMARKET 62% Do you shop at specialty supermarkets for foreigners? 4% Atleast sometimes 3% Always 55% SometimesMostofthetime 32% Rarely 6% Never 7 WholesaleMarket (e.g.Costco,E-martTraders,BigMarket) DepartmentStore/ PremiumFoodGroceries (e.g.SSGFoodMarket,StarSuper, Waitrose,Gourmet494) OtherOnline 19% Local/ConventionalSupermarket &HyperRetailMarket (e.g.E-mart,LotteMart,HomePlus)
  6. 6. K.I.S.S. (Keep it simple and solo) Food Forward 201405 TREND Watch a dinner scene on any of Korea’s popular television programs, and it’s clear that single living (and with that, dining for one) has become more the standard than the exception – even more so than just a decade ago. 02 Whether it is a case of life reflecting art or vice versa, Koreans are indeed living more independently than ever before. The 2012 Korean Statistical Yearbook estimated that rates of single households will rise further, from 25.3% of households to 32.7% (7.09 million households) by 2030.1 We can expect to see this reflected in 2014 consumer food preferences. According to Eun-suk Lee, editor-in-chief of magazine CookAnd, single-portion packaged products are fast becoming a necessity for those living on their own: “The increasingly-influentialsingleadultconsumeroftenfinds cooking meals at hometobeexpensiveandtimeconsuming. They see semi-cooked individual food products to be an option that saves costs while minimising both prep time and food waste.” Expect consumers to demand greater variety and new flavours as small packaged products grow in popularity. While 84% of all consumers surveyed purchase small packaged products or fast food once a week or more, 35% also say that these products lack variety, and another 33% noted a limited number of stores that carry pre-cooked individual items. Both store owners and food manufacturers would be wise to respond to this demand. Interestingly, experts also highlight the fact that it isn’t just young adults but Korea’s elderly (those 65 and above) who will continue demanding easier options, especially as Korea’s elderly is expected to rise from 7.2% of the population in 2000 to 14% by 2017. 2 As cooking specialist Mi-kyung Jun pointed out, “Empty nesters are buying small packaged products at increasing rates, because seniors tend to purchase only the amount of food needed and prefer items that require less effort to prepare. Expect to see further demand for smaller, pre-cooked items as this age group continues to expand.” The increasingly-influential single adult consumer often finds cooking meals at home to be expensive and time consum- ing. Theyseesemi-cookedindividualfood productstobeanoptionthatsavescosts whileminimisingbothpreptimeandfood waste. Eun-suk Lee, editor-in-chief of magazine CookAnd The trend toward solo mealtime can be expected to have just as much of an impact on out-of-home dining. “The food service industry will present diversity in single-dining options and menus, targeting the increase in single diners via take-out specialty stores and restaurants catering,” explained Eun-suk Lee, editor-in-chief of CookAnd.
  7. 7. Food Forward 201406 Over one-third of survey respondents (34%) eat out alone at least once a week, although few find it to be an enjoyable experience. When asked what, if anything, had made them uncomfortable when dining alone, only 19% said that they had not felt uncomfortable, while 36% felt uncomfortable due to the lack of options available for single diners (dishes are typically shared in Korean cuisine), and another 35% stated that they felt conscious of other customers when dining alone. One popular Japanese ramen restaurants has offered a solution: installing partitions on tables like those in libraries to offer private seats for single diners looking for restaurants that cater to their needs. How often do you purchase small packaged food or fast food? 14% Afewtimes amonth 2% Lessthan onceamonth 35% Threetimes aweekormore 49% Onceortwice aweek 84% Onceaweek ormore 33% Never 15% Afewtimes amonth 20% Lessthan onceamonth 10% Threetimesa weekormore 24% Onceortwice aweek 34% Howoftendoyoudineoutalone? 1. The Korean Statistical Yearbook: 2012 Korean Statistical Yearbook, Statistics Korea, 2013.02 2. Composition of population by sex and age, Statistics Korea, 2013.07.17 Onceaweek ormore
  8. 8. Food Forward 201407 Whenitcomestosmallpackagedfood,whatareaneedsthemostimprovement? 33% Few stores carry it 35% Lack of variety 20% Difficultyobtaining productinformation 8% Portionsizesare toobig,toomuch waste 4% Other 36% Lackofvarietyof foodIcaneatalone 35% Consciousof othercustomers 19% Notuncomfortable 10% Donotfeeltheneedto dineoutwhenIcanorder takeawayfoodinstead Ifyoueverfeltuncomfortableeatingaloneatarestaurant,whatwasthereason?
  9. 9. “Hip”-bab: The tasteof home isback Food Forward 201408 TREND Just as international luxury flavours are growing in popularity as a way to escape from everyday life, and solo dining is becoming more common due to the realities of an urban lifestyle, a third trend in 2014 pulls Korean tastes in yet another direction: Koreans are returning to their roots in 2014, exploring the rustic, traditional home cooking they have until now ignored. 03 Korea’s Jip-bab refers to plain, everyday meals at home. The flavours have been labeled unsophisticated and pedestrian, with difficult and lengthy preparations. But for today’s busy urbanites, traditional home-cooked meals have become something of a rarity, and Jip-bab will be thrust into the foodie spotlight this year Eun-suk Lee, editor-in-chief of CookAnd, explained “Contemporary Seoulites have started to take a greater interest in Jip-bab, since the term stirs a sense of comfort for urbanites seeking an escape from their modern lives, and we can expect to see this interest grow even further.” Today’s Jip-bab is a more refined reflection of these home-style foods, recreating the existing healthy dishes made with love by our mothers with a twist, made in a contemporary, modern way. Hip, stylish Jip-bab concept restaurants are popping up throughout Korea’s urban hubs, attracting young, trend-conscious consumers and featuring high-quality ingredients that offer both flavour and food safety assurance – particularly signifi- cant to the 36% of consumers surveyed, who choose their restaurant destination based on comfort foods or the safety and cleanliness of the restaurant (though not surprisingly, when it comes to choosing where to dine out, the top factor is seeking out specialty dishes that are hard to cook at home). The interest in Jip-bab and traditional Korean dishes and flavours is not necessarily leading to an increase in family dinners at home. Whatdoyouconsidermostimportantwhen choosingwheretodine? 10% Diet-consciousfood 24% Safetyand cleanlinessof restaurant 12% Comfortfood 46% Specialtydishthat ishardtocook athome 6% Price 2% Other
  10. 10. Food Forward 201409 While most Koreans value the tradition of the meals they grew up with – 84% of those surveyed believe that passing down family recipes is moderately to extremely important – when it comes to daily life, they’re much more likely to dine out or purchase convenient ready-made meals than to eat out. Nearly a third of respondents (32%) rarely or never cook at home for family and friends, compared to 11% who rarely or never eat out. Ho-sun Lee, former editor-in-chief of Lemon Tree, explained, “It is true that small families and those living alone often eat out or buy single portion packaged foods and ready-made meals. However, they still have a penchant for Jip-bab. As a result, we’re seeing more people buying into the concept of cooking that feels like home, even when it comes to the preferred flavours of ready-made packaged meals.” Howoftendoyoudineout? 17% Threetimesa weekormore 41% Onceor twiceaweek 31% Afewtimes amonth 10% Onceamonth orless 1% Never How important do you think it is to share or pass down family recipes? 11%Extremely important 33%Very important 40%Moderately important 13%Neitherimportant norunimportant 2%Unimportant 1%Notatall important 84% Moderately toextremely important Howoftendoyoucookforfamilyorfriends? 11% Afewtimes amonth 17% Daily 23% 2-3times aweek 17% Oncea week 31% Onceamonth orless 1% Never 32%Rarely ornever 11%Rarely ornever
  11. 11. Into the (urban) wild: The case for camping Food Forward 201410 TREND Camping has become a popular social activity and it is having an impact on in- store offerings and restaurant flavours in Korea. Food industry experts antici- ipate this trend will continue, reaching even the most urban Korean foodies. 04 Camping appears to be a popular pasttime among consumers with nearly seven in 10 consumers (67%) saying they've been camping before. Within this group, 8% said they go regularly. Ihn Chee, senior vice president of Weber Shandwick's consumer practice explains the potential of this growing consumer segment, “The increased camping culture will expand the number, and type of handy camping foods avail- able, as consumers seek easier ways to prepare food when camping. All-in-one camping cookware and instant foods customised for outdoor activities will significantly diversify to meet the growing needs of consumers.” Within this growing market, Ho-sun Lee, former editor-in-chief of Lemon Tree also adds that in particular, “easy and handy camping equipment and instant foods such as canned foods, pre-packaged chicken and salmon, will likely diversify.” Just last year, Korea’s largest e-commerce market launched an all-in-one multipurpose pan, it’s key selling points being that it was lightweight and portable3 (thus ideal for camping). New food products have come onto the scene as well, e.g. self-heating canned meals, which have been positioned as ideal for camping, rather than emphasising its convenience to students and/or professionals on the go. Companies have also launched, which center around delivering The increased camping culture will expand the number and types of handy camping foods available, as consumers seek easier ways to prepare food when camping. All-in-one camp- ing cookware and instant foods customised for outdoor activities will significantly diversify to meet the growing needs of con- sumers. Ihn Chee, Senior vice president Weber Shandwick's Consumer practice customised camping meals including packaged ingredients, meats, vegetables and utensils, so consumers can skip the supermarket before heading straight to the campgrounds. 4
  12. 12. Have you ever been or are you willing to go camping? Food Forward 201411 27% Neverbeen butwillingto 6% No,and Idon'tintendto 8% Yes,Igooften 59% Yes,Ihaveexperienced itbutIdon'tgoregularly It’s not just those who seek refuge in the wilderness who will be affected by this trend. Camping will also widely impact dining culture in urban environments. “Consumers living in city apartment buildings romanti- cise gardening and dining outdoors, and their interest will help to spread the concept of outdoor food culture beyond just camping,” said Ho-sun Lee. Experts foresee the number of camping concept restaurants like Glamping and Outdoor Kitchen increasing. These restaurants allow busy urbanites to enjoy the feeling of camping with the convenience of staying in the city. Chef Heung-mo Lee, founder of Glamping, a pioneer camping concept restaurant in Korea, was one of the first to spot this trend. 3. Mi-Young Park, “Functional cookware bursts through camping culture”, Digital Times, 2013.10.27 4. Byung-ho Jang, Nolto Barbeque ‘Various camping foods become popular among campers”, Economy Today, 2013.08.30 FinalThoughts The Korean Food Forward Trends Report 2014 predicts some exciting food trends for the year ahead. Looking closely at the trends, an underlying thread appears to weave throughout. It subtly points to a desire to enjoy the very best of the modern Korean way of life. Whether that is through luxury and exotic food purchases, relishing in the comfort of a home cooked meal, exploring solo dining options, or experiencing the freedom of cooking on a camp stove, brands and organisations that tap this underlying desire and create ‘moments’ for Korean people to escape their busy lifestyles, through food, will benefit. Combine those desires with current Korean consumer and lifestyle trends that revolve around being familiar but trendy, luxurious but still offering value for money, providing variety while still keeping it simple, and offering relaxation in stressful, ordinary lives, and the opportunities are boundless. 67% Havebeen campingbefore
  13. 13. Food Forward 201412 PARTICIPATING FOOD EXPERTS EUN-SUK LEE THE EDITOR IN CHIEF OF COOKAND Eun-suk Lee has been the editor in chief of CookAnd, one of the widest-read monthly food magazines in Korea, since it was founded15 years ago. The magazine features diverse content such as 'History of Food and Wine' and 'Big Mama's Cooking Diary,' and it is seen as a top influential media outlet for the food and cooking industry. HO-SUN LEE FORMER EDITOR IN CHIEF OF LEMON TREE Ho-sun Lee is former editor in chief of Lemon Tree, one of Korea’s influential lifestyle monthly magazines focusing on living and lifestyle. Lemon Tree provides practical and new food recipes, cooking appliance and cookware reviews, and restaurant reviews, Ho-sun Lee is considered an influential expert in trends for adult consumers, 30 to 40 years old. HEUNG-MO LEE HEAD CHEF AT GLAMPING Heung-moLeeisheadchefatGlamping, oneofthebiggestcampingconcept restaurantsinKorea.AgraduateofLe CordonBleuinCanada,Heung-moLee previouslyworkedinrenowned kitchensinCanada,ItalyandtheUnited States.Hehopespeoplecanenjoythe joyofcampingculturethroughthefood servedathisrestaurant. Sung-yoon Kim is the food critic for Chosun Ilbo, one of Korea’s leading top-tier newspapers. He is also well known for his food blog (Taste of Kim Sung-yoon). After a decade as a food critic, he spent significant time in Italy to gain expertise in European gastronomy, helping him to fully provide and elaborate useful food information to his readers. MI-KYUNG JUNG COOKING SPECIALIST Mi-kyungJungisacookingspecialist, particularlywith traditionalKorean foods.Acelebritychef,Mi-kyungJung hasdeliveredcookingclassesonvarious televisionchannelsandservedasafood consultantforvariouscookbooks,in additiontopublishingmanycollections ofherownrecipes. SUNG-YOON KIM THE FOOD CRITIC FOR CHOSUN ILBO
  14. 14. WeberShandwick’s FoodForwardstudyidentifiesthelatestfoodtrendsthatarepredictedto shape the food cultureofKoreainthecomingyear.Anationwidepollingof754adultconsumers wasconducted byWeberShandwickandresearchagencyQualtrics.Leadingfoodexperts,food editors and chefs werealsointerviewedbyWeberShandwick.Thisreportandthecomplementary infographic are TheFood Forward 2014StudywasalsoconductedinAustralia,ChinaandSingapore. Formore information, WeberShandwickisaleadingglobalpublicrelationsfirmwithofficesin81countries,operatingin SouthKoreasince2009.Thefirm’sdiverseteamofthinkers,strategists,analysts,producers, designers,developersandcampaignactivatorshaswonthemostprestigiousawardsintheworldfor innovativeapproachesandimpactfulwork,includingfour2013CannesLions.WeberShandwickwas alsonamedPRWeek’sInternationalConsultancyoftheYear,TheHolmesReport’sBestHealthcare ConsultancyintheWorldandAsiaPacificDigitalConsultancyoftheYearin2013,andTheHolmes Report’sKoreaConsultancyoftheYearin2012,inadditiontoearningnumerousbestplacetowork accolades.Thefirmdeploysdeepexpertiseacrosssectorsandspecialtyareas,includingconsumer marketing,corporatereputation,healthcare,technology,publicaffairs,financialservices,corporate socialresponsibility,financialcommunicationsandcrisismanagement,usingproprietarysocial, digitalandanalyticsmethodologies.WeberShandwickispartoftheInterpublicGroup(NYSE:IPG). FormoreinformationonFoodForward2014,pleasecontact: TylerKim ManagingDirector,Korea +82262507007 IhnChee SeniorVicePresident,ConsumerPractice +82262507004 Food Forward 201413 ABOUT FOOD FORWARD ABOUT FOOD FORWARD ABOUT WEBER SHANDWICK