Gaining Market Share — Korea’s imports of U.S. chilled pork totaled 5,377 mt from Jan.-July 2021, up 176% from a year ago, with the U.S. capturing 37% of Korea’s chilled import market – up from 19% last year.
Convenience-driven consumers are reshaping how food is bought and consumed in South Korea as new e-commerce/delivery models develop to meet surging demand. “Quick commerce” is now a major player in food Chilled U.S. pork imports sales and distribution.
“Convenience is a key factor in meal-time decisions and home meal replacement markets are booming,” says Jihae Yang, USMEF Korea director. “Chilled U.S. pork does not need defrosting and is ideal for ready-to-cook and ready-to-eat meals delivered for in-home consumption.”
USMEF partnered recently with delivery service pioneer Baemin to promote chilled U.S. pork through its e-commerce site B-Mart, which specializes in fresh food. Utilizing motorcycles and 30 micro-fulfillment centers in the Seoul metropolitan area, B-Mart advertises that 99% of its orders are delivered within one hour. Yang adds that some platforms now promise delivery within 15-30 minutes of order placement.
With funding support from United Soybean Board and USDA’s Agricultural Trade Program, USMEF developed a promotion for chilled, single-ribbed belly and CT butt items at B-Mart. Building on a successful launch conducted earlier this year, the week-long promotion was timed for a peak consumption period and chilled belly and CT butts were featured by cut thickness. Video recipes were developed in support of the promotion.
“For the one-week promotional period, total sales of chilled U.S. pork increased 270% and B-Mart’s merchandiser told us they plan to add more chilled U.S. pork items by year-end,” reports Yang.
She added that USMEF is targeting retail e-commerce for U.S. chilled product as large retailers expand aggressively into e-commerce to meet growing demand.