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‘Grocerant’ Offers Korean Consumers Another Great Way to Enjoy U.S. Beef

Published: Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

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Working to displace competitors of U.S. beef in the growing South Korean retail sector, USMEF used social media and a celebrity chef to showcase U.S. beef ribeye, striploin and chuck flap tail during a “grocerant” promotion. The event was held at PK Market, a high-end grocery selling premium food items, and was funded by the USDA Market Access Program (MAP) and the Beef Checkoff Program.

Chef Mihal Ashminov prepares U.S. beef steak during a USMEF promotion at a PK Market Butcher’s Table in South Korea

Chef Mihal Ashminov prepares U.S. beef steak during a USMEF promotion at a PK Market Butcher’s Table in South Korea

PK Market, part of the vast Emart retail chain, includes a steakhouse called “Butcher’s Table” that allows consumers to enjoy steak cuts they purchase in the store’s grocery area.

“The Butcher’s Table is what is referred to as a “grocerant,” meaning that it as a grocery store and restaurant under one roof, and it is becoming a big part of the ‘steak culture’ in South Korea,” explained Jihae Yang, USMEF director in Korea. “It also is part of a move toward ready-to-eat and pre-packaged meals favored by busy people. Korean consumers buy a steak and then take it to the Butcher’s Table kitchen and have chefs there cook it with vegetables. This service provides the customer with a great steak that might cost two or three times more at a restaurant.”

During the promotion, USMEF had celebrity chef Mihal Ashminov grill U.S. beef cuts. While the guests enjoyed their steaks, Ashminov provided them with information about the advantages of U.S. beef and explained a few of the best ways to cook a steak.

USMEF drew attention to U.S. beef promotions at the PK Market’s Butcher’s Table on Instagram

USMEF drew attention to U.S. beef promotions at the PK Market’s Butcher’s Table on Instagram

To draw attention to the promotion, an online campaign was launched that included Syrup Table, the most popular Korean “foodies” app with a total of 13.5 million subscribers and 1.2 million monthly active users. USMEF’s promotion was featured on the main rolling banner at the top of the Syrup Table website. A total of 5,700 participated in the campaign, with 12 winners chosen for the U.S. beef tasting opportunity.

Officials with Emart described the event as a great opportunity to experience U.S. beef steak and to promote superior quality of U.S. beef to PK Market customers, adding that Emart recently began promoting thick-cut steak at locations across the country.

“Retailers in Korea have been trying to offer various meat items and new applications to address consumer trends in the market,” said Yang. “Steak is currently one of the most popular food trends and as a result, some retail chains are developing various steak items. Retailers are also taking an interest in steak items that address the desire for convenience and quick meals.”