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South Korea’s online food market hits record high

(Source: Korea Bizwire)

South Korea’s online food market jumped more than 35 per cent to touch a historic high last year amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The value of online food transactions in Asia’s fourth-largest economy stood at 58.5 trillion won (US$48.8 billion) last year, up 35.3 per cent from a year earlier, according to data from Statistics Korea and industry sources.

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

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

Mobile shopping stood at 49.3 trillion won last year, or 84.3 per cent of the total, with internet shopping taking up the remainder.

Mobile shopping spiked 40.3 per cent on-year last year, far outstripping the 13.7-per-cent increase in internet shopping.

With more people working from home, the market for food delivery services shot up 48.2 per cent from a year earlier to 25.7 trillion won last year. Last year’s amount was approximately 9.4 times the amount four years earlier, according to the data.

Industry sources said local food companies have been beefing up efforts to catch up with explosive growth in online shopping by reorganising or incorporating their online malls.

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