S. Koreans increase reliance on meal kits and food deliveries
South Korea's home meal replacement (HMR) market and the food delivery industry collectively grew more than twice from 12 trillion won in 2018 to 25 trillion won in 2021.
The country's HMR market reached 5 trillion won and the food delivery industry recorded 20 trillion won in sales as of July.
More South Koreans have started eating all three meals at home due to the pandemic and work-from-home prevalence, further driving the demand for the HMR and food delivery options.
Moreover, CJ Cheiljedang Corp.’s survey reveals that the concept and the definition of home-cooked meals are now starting to change among millennials and Gen Zers with most associating the idea from “mom” or “mother” to either food delivery app market leader “Baemin,” or e-commerce platform, “Coupang.”
Food culture experts say that South Korea has entered a period when young citizens, in general, cannot cook as well as the elders, while the older generation has stopped cooking to avail of convenient HMR products.
The food industry analyzes that South Korea's HMR industry size will grow from 5.6 trillion won this year to 8.2 trillion won by 2023.