The increase comes against a background of more women, who have traditionally prepared "jesa" food, having jobs and the growth of one-person households making it much more cost-effective to buy such foods rather than prepare them from scratch, Emart Inc. said.
The store said the variety of its ceremonial dishes sold ahead of the traditional holiday called "Seollal" through its private brand, Peacock, rose from just six in 2014 to 40 in early 2017 and to 47 this year.
The new foods to be introduced this year are tteokguk and sagol-guk, or rice cake and beef bone marrow soup, tteokgalbi, or seasoned ribs, and jeon. Jeon is a fried dish made with sliced, or minced fish, meat and vegetables.
"Sales of such products for the week leading up to the holiday in 2014 stood at 100 million won ($916,000), but this rose to over 1 billion won for the first time in early 2017 and 1.24 billion won for last year's Chuseok holiday," the discount store said. Chuseok is the Korean equivalent of Thanksgiving Day, while Seollal is mostly identical but for a few different dishes being served.
The company said it expects this year's sales to rise 15-20 percent compared to early 2017.(Yonhap)