The food and beverage industry is targeting customers unable to travel abroad due to the COVID-19 pandemic with international themed menus, partially quenching their longing for travel.
Eggslut’s Fairfax Sandwich (SPC Group)
One internationally famous restaurant, Eggslut, opened in Korea in COVID-19 era, capturing customers with its Californian taste. Eggslut, famous for its egg sandwiches in California, opened its first store in Korea at Coex mall in Seoul on July 10. As one of the must-try restaurants when visiting California along with the burger place In-N-Out, SPC Group that brought the franchise to Korea hopes of repeating the success it achieved when it brought another popular American franchise, Shake Shack, in 2016. At the time, celebrities and non-celebrities alike waited long hours to try the burgers. Eggslut is off to a fine start, as hundreds of people waited in line hours before the store opened on the first day to try their sandwich.
Other fast food restaurants released special flavors and menus from the world to Korea this summer.
Burger King‘s chilly crab whole shrimp burger (Burger King)
Burger King released the chile crab whole shrimp burger and chile crab burger, along with chile crab cheese fries in June 22. The premium burger featuring aims to grab customers with its unique taste based on the Singaporean signature dish chile crab.
KFC’s fried chicken skin (KFC)
Another global franchise, KFC, released fried chicken skin that was only available in Jakarta, Indonesia in May in response to customer requests.
When one Korean customer who planned to go Jakarta last year just to try this dish failed to do so as widespread protest against election results made traveling to Jakarta unsafe, he pleaded to the internet to make requests to KFC in Korea to make fried chicken skins. KFC Korea responded by releasing the product for a limited time in Korea last year and decided to make it an official menu this summer. The Indonesian special modified to fit Korean palates has been copied by many companies since.
Convenience stores and cafes also joined in releasing international travel themed food.
CU’s Pork Plz (CU)
Major convenience store chain CU launched in-flight meal series on June 30 for people unable to fly abroad. The three meals are named Chicken Plz, Pork Plz and Beef Plz in order to bring the feeling of ordering the meals in airplanes. In order to make the experience more realistic, the meals are in aluminum boxes rather than plastic.
“In order to appease customers who were unable to go on international vacation this year due to the spread of COVID-19, we planned this in-flight meal series,” said Kim Joon-hwi of BGF Retail’s convenience food team. “We will continue to make innovative products so that people can refresh themselves from long-term social distancing at CU.”
Dongwon F&B’s Cong Caphe Coconut Cacao (Dongwon F&B)
Dongwon F&B released Vietnamese coffee brand Cong Caphe’s signature drink, “Cong Caphe coconut cacao” on July 8, and 7-Eleven released Cong Caphe’s famous coconut soft ice cream topped with Vietnam style Americano, called “Coconut Soft,” in May.
7-Eleven‘s Coconut Soft (7-Eleven)
Meanwhile different coffee chains released mojito themed drinks in light of summer, to bring along a Caribbean vibe.
By Lim Jang-won (firstname.lastname@example.org