The organic milk market is expanding rapidly in South Korea, driven by burgeoning demand from younger parents willing to spend money on high-quality food and beverages for their kids, industry data showed Wednesday.
The size of the organic milk market has grown by thirteen-fold to 65 billion won ($57.1 million) by the end of 2016, compared to 5 billion won in 2008, according to the data by local dairy industry.
Organic milk, which mainly refers to high-end plain milk, is labeled so after a dairy product maker gains accreditation for the lineup from the local authority.
The assessment is based on the environment in which the cattle are bred such as meadows, cattle shed and range, and the use of pesticides, chemical fertilizer or antibiotics.
Currently, the organic plain milk produced by Maeil Dairy Industry Co. tops the market with an over 85 percent share, trailed by Ildong Food's Co., Pasteur Milk Co. and Namyang Dairy Products Co., according to the industry.
A pack of organic milk is sold at a price about 30-40 percent higher than those sold generally. Yet its sales have spiked over recent years as younger parents, in the late 20s to early 40s group, are inclined to purchase food that is recognized to be good and healthy for their children.
A growing consumer tendency toward high-quality or luxury items, helped by the rising income level among the affluent is also cited as a key factor driving the demand for such a dairy product, industry sources said.
The organic milk market is expected to reach 85 billion won by 2020, with the growth forecast to record a double-digit figure this year, according to the industry data. (Yonhap)