Following the first wave of a coronavirus pandemic in early 2020, South Korea's food market saw a big change in consumers' shopping habits. According to the agriculture ministry, 2.4 percent of consumers bought processed food through online shops in 2018 and the ratio increased to 11.4 percent in 2020. About 20 percent bought processed food from online stores in 2021.
Along to a survey of 2,193 households, conducted by the Korea Rural Economic Institute in 2021, 23.7 percent consumed processed food about three times a week while 43.2 percent consumed processed food once a week. The most favored type of processed food is home meal replacements (HMRs), also known as heat-and-eat meal kits. HMR packs containing various types of food --soup, roasted meat, pasta, and side dishes -- were released by various food companies including Shinsegae's mega-mart franchise Emart.
Emart24 said in a statement on December 13 that the convenience store franchise signed a memorandum of understanding with Super Kitchen to jointly develop home meal kits and roll out marketing promotions. Emart24 said that it will utilize the HMR company's know-how in the development and sales of menus to create products tailored for convenience store customers.
Super Kitchen is a meal kit maker that operates an online shopping mall and some 70 offline stores across South Korea. The company garnered popularity among young working consumers in their 20s and 30s, and middle-aged housewives in their 30s and 40s for the company's overnight meal kit delivery system.
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