The Korea Herald


[Newsmaker] Demand for wine, Korean beef surge in 2021, says E-mart

By Kang Jae-eun

Published : Dec. 19, 2021 - 15:36

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Packaged Korean beef is displayed on the shelves of a discount store. (Yonhap) Packaged Korean beef is displayed on the shelves of a discount store. (Yonhap)
Customer demand for wine and Korean beef has shown rapid increase this year, as an alternative to dining outside, said the local discount chain E-mart on Sunday.

The discount retailer tracked the changes in the type of products sold from 2019 to November this year.

According to the store’s data, wine leaped from 10th place in 2019 to sixth in 2021, with sales jumping by 32 percent from 2019. 

More Korean consumers have started venturing into higher-priced wines compared to the start of the pandemic, when lower-priced wines of around 10,000 won were popular, the retailer said.

Korea beef also scaled up from ninth place last year to seventh this year due to growing demand from Korean consumers wanting to enjoy restaurant-quality beef at home.

Sirloin and tenderloin were the most popular cuts of beef, increasing on-year by 42.2 percent and 25.3 percent, respectively, in sales. The retailer also saw a double-digit increase in less fatty parts commonly used to make soup broth.

The bestselling product was pork. Sales of pork increased two years straight, and remained atop the list as the bestseller since 2019. Beer ranked second, followed by instant ramen, coffee and milk.

In food categories, meal kits saw a 176 percent increase in sales and jumped from 337th place in 2019 to 29th this year.

Among other items, equipment for golf, camping and outdoor activities increased in popularity, with more Koreans preferring outdoor activities in open spaces. 

Camping equipment moved from 307th place in 2019 to 171st this year, while golf gadgets stepped up from 235th place in 2019 to 118th place this year.

In the alcohol category, whisky’s popularity surged. Sales of whisky increased by 72.6 percent on-year in 2021, and rose to 73rd place. 

This was largely due to the growing popularity of the highball whisky cocktail, especially among millennials and older Generation Z consumers, an E-mart official explained.