Home meal replacements, health food production rise with shifting lifestyle

By Won Ho-jung
  • Published : Sept 25, 2017 - 17:01
  • Updated : Sept 25, 2017 - 17:01
Production of health food products and home meal replacements rose significantly in 2016, as Koreans are cooking less at home and focusing on healthy living, according to data released Monday.

According to the Food and Drug Safety Ministry, products in the home meal replacement category rose in production across the board. 

Production of ready-to-cook and ready-to-eat products rose from 1.04 trillion won ($920.5 million) to 1.55 trillion won, while boxed meals like those sold at convenience stores rose from 765 billion won to 972.6 billion won.

Models pose with gift sets of ready-to-cook products at Shinsegae Department Store's main branch in Seoul. (Yonhap)

The Food Safety Ministry attributed these increases to the “rising numbers of one-person households and double-income households,” which have been accompanied by fewer people choosing to cook at home.

Rising demand for delivery food such as pizza, chicken and steamed pigs’ feet, or jokbal, contributed to a rise in sauce and seasoning production, which rose from 1.8 trillion won to 2.7 trillion won.

Meanwhile, the continued drop in birth rate, which means lower demand for baby formula, caused production of processed dairy products to fall, from 335.8 billion won in 2015 to 265.3 billion won last year. 

Production rose most sharply on-year in the health food category, which rose by 29.9 percent on-year to reach 1.47 trillion won in 2016. Nearly 40 percent of this production was contributed by red ginseng, whose production rose from 313.4 billion won to 583.8 billion won last year.

Five companies had production above 1 trillion won last year, including Nongshim, Lotte Chilsung Beverage, CJ CheilJedang, Hite Jinro and Seoul Dairy Cooperative.

Overall, food industry production in 2016 totaled 73.3 trillion won, rising 4.1 percent on-year.

By Won Ho-jung (