Food & Beverage

Gourmet Meal Kits and Home Meal Replacements in Korea

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A culture of ready-to-eat meals exists in the West and now the Koreans are picking up the trend of gourmet meal kits (MK) and home meal replacements (HMRs).

The sight of people sitting across a dining table, enjoying hearty home-cooked meals, is everyone’s desire. However, with changing times, hot family meals end up only existing in movies and series. Life is fast-paced, and no one wants to spend time sitting and eating. Even South Korea, a country steeped in traditional culture and values, has also witnessed a reduction in home-cooked meals in the past few years. This has led to the development of replacement meals in the form of kits and home meal replacements (HMR). The culture of consuming pre-prepared products already exists in the West and Japan. However, the South Korean market is just picking up the trend of gourmet meal kits (MK) and home meal replacements. 

The work-from-home measures over the last year only added fuel to the fire of meal kits and HMR. People find themselves always occupied with work and cannot find the time to cook. Not only this, but the home delivery market in South Korea also saw an exponential rise in revenue. The HMR market until July was 5 trillion Won, and the food delivery segment was 20 trillion Won. This is a remarkable number, and its growth is on the rise. Also, with the accessibility to YouTube, it is now the go-to place to find recipes for younger people. The proper analysis of trends reveals that the MK and HMR industry in South Korea is bound to grow to 3.3 billion from now till 2023. With the market still growing, the scope is endless.

Major Gourmet Meal Kit and Food Delivery Platers in Korea

This shift in the market is because of many reasons. Currently, the lines between food production, marketing, and retail units are not firm. Also, there is a behavioral change in the consumers. Earlier, older people associated with a brand with a type of food. For example, when someone from the millennials hears sauces, their mind automatically pictures the logo of the most popular brand Ottogi.

But, this is not the case with the new generation as they go by the brand name. For example, there is a company that is doing exceptionally well in the HMR market. Their product name is Chef Lee Yeon Bok’s Mokran Noodles. However, the manufacturers are not the chef cooking the food, and it is a small-time noodle maker. But the younger segment of buyers will purchase this packet as it has a famous chef’s name on it.

Here are some companies that make hearty gourmet meal kits and HMRs.

Fresheasy

This South Korean company holds a 67% share in the HMR and MK market as of 2020. They provide pre-portioned meal kits with instructions. The meals get thoughtfully clubbed together. It has various brands under its belt and its best seller is the Beanyun Gagye. This word means a store that is 100 years old in Korean. This meal kit is only for selected partner restaurants and contains only signature dishes.

HMR from Shinsegae Josun

Shinsegae brings forward premium home meal replacement options to strengthen the food business industry. They aim at making all meals nutritious and filling, and they deal in both B2C and B2B sales. With three categories, their products come as ready to heat and heat, ready to eat, and ready to cook. You will feel nourished after a meal from this company.

Mokran Noodles by chef Lee Yeon Bok

These noodles are a brand of the parent company Noodle Lovers. Based out of South Korea, this organization sells over 200 varieties of noodles. They manufacture their mall and are experts in their field. They aim to provide a wholesome noodle experience to all who seek it. They make chilled, frozen, fresh, saucy, and dried noodles as well. Chef Lee Yeon Boo is famous worldwide, and people buy this product just because of this name.

Wooyang’s crispy hot dog

Corn dogs are ideal for making meal kits. Wooyang’s is the market leader in the frozen corn dog Korean market, and they claim over 50% in this segment and provide to large organic companies like Pulmuone. The corn dog’s popularity is rising fast amongst Korean people. With this product, one can experiment and make it nutritious. 

Cookat.Inc

The growth of home meal replacements and meal kits lead to the rise in social media marketing agencies. One company that grabbed the opportunity is Cookat.Inc. They specialize in creating mouth-watering adverts for HRMs. As it is a media company, it operates food-making channels as well. With many organizations moving towards this new meal pattern Cookat saw a 111% annual rise in 2020. They are going strong and pitching for funding as well.  

Mychef.inc

Mychef believes in responsible sourcing of ingredients and only works with local farmers. Their pre-prepared meal contains trimmed ingredients, and you get a recipe along with its ingredients and just the right quality of condiments. They hold the position of the first company in South Korea to bring out meal kits. They possess around 60 distribution channels. This company also saw 151% profit over 2019.

Wrapping Up!

A change in eating habits brings about a significant change worth trillions of dollars. More organizations eye the HMR and gourmet meal kits segment as growth is exponential. Also, with people not wasting time on thinking over what to eat, they can do something else that is productive. Some companies even offer month-long plans that can help you maintain a fixed-calorie meal and stay on a healthy diet as well. Besides, if you find grocery shopping tedious, a well-researched home meal replacement is the answer to your troubles. If you also run on a busy schedule and struggle to eat right, you must get your hands on meal kits today and pair them with a gadget like Samsung Bespoke Qooker to make the cooking process much easier!

About Jinju Jeon

Senior Writer @KoreaProductPost

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