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South Korea’s online food market booms due to pandemic

South Korea’s online food market posted explosive growth last year due to the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, new data shows.

The value of online food transactions in Asia’s fourth-largest economy came to US$39.2 billion last year, up 62.4 per cent from a year earlier, according to Statistics Korea and industry sources.

The online food market surpassed the $36 billion mark last year after reaching ‘just’ $24 billion the previous year.

Last year’s surge was attributed to a marked increase in contact-free consumption in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

The tally covers online transactions of food, groceries, farm produce, meat and fisheries goods, as well as food delivery services.

Mobile shopping stood at $32 billion, or 70 per cent of the total, with internet shopping taking up the remainder.

Industry sources said food companies are beefing up efforts to catch up with soaring online shopping due to the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

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