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S. Koreans' processed food consumption increases 18.4% during pandemic
South Korea's expenditure on processed food went up 18.4 percent to 47.1 trillion won amid the COVID-19 pandemic last year from 39.8 trillion won in 2019.
According to the state-run Rural Development Administration (RDA), fresh produce consumption increased by 13.5 percent year on year to 39.6 trillion won in 2020 but fell to 38.9 trillion won the following year as many people dined out due to relaxed gathering restrictions.
The surveys also revealed a significant increase in health-conscious spending. According to a 2022 RDA survey, 51.5 percent of respondents prioritized their health when purchasing agricultural products, up from 29.1 percent in 2020.