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Lotte Mart to launch half-priced sauces

Lotte Mart will launch its new range of discount products on Thursday ― half-priced instant stews in curry and “jjajang,” or black bean sauce, flavors.

Even though their quantity has been doubled to 300 grams, the products’ price stands at 1,400 won ($1.32), matching other 150-gram products, the nation’s second-largest retail chain said Wednesday. 

Despite its cheaper price, Lotte Mart emphasized that there would no big difference in the product’s taste and quality.

“All ingredients are domestically grown and they are chopped into big pieces to maintain the texture of stew dishes,” the company said.

“The manufacturer is also a company that has been recognized for its sanitation and safety standards by Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point.” The so-called “generous marketing” of Lotte Mart was to be resumed after its sales of cheap fried chicken stirred fierce debates months ago.

In December, the retail giant had started to sell a bucket of fried chicken priced at 5,000 won, about half the market value.

Unlike the consumers, who showed positive reviews, smaller eateries and civic groups said the marketing as an unfair trade practice.

The chicken sales ended after three days, but prompted an investigation by the Fair Trade Commission for potential price-fixing.

“Our generous marketing is originally aimed at providing quality products at cheaper prices. In order to recover consumer trust, we will make more careful efforts in selecting items,” said a Lotte Mart official.

By Lee Ji-yoon (