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Food packages get smaller for customers weary of inflation

June 13, 2022 - 15:39 By Byun Hye-jin
A model picks up a pack of pork at a CU in Seoul. (CU)

Amid price hikes and rising food bills, retailers in South Korea have come up with a new marketing strategy to keep customers satisfied. Convenience store chain CU has launched packages of vegetables, meat and fruit that are smaller and less expensive than the ones they usually sell.

The store chain also offers packaged Korean pork belly, jowl meat, false lean, and flat iron steak in 200-gram packages. The company said it has cut margins by directly purchasing vegetables from distribution centers.

“Many consumers are opting for homemade meals because the cost of eating out has sharply increased,” the official said, citing that vegetable sales at its store chains in May have surged on-year by 25.1 percent and 17.3 percent in single-person households and family households, respectively.

GS25 has announced it will sell products from Real Price, a discount-focused brand working under the GS Supermarket umbrella. The list includes low-priced home supplies like kitchen towels, cleaning gloves, zip bags, toilet paper and facial tissues.

The price of Real Price’s products is 70 - 80 percent lower than those from other stores and 20 percent lower than products sold at GS25 with double the quantity, the company said.

The Real Price products will be sold at stores near residential areas with high demand for inexpensive household goods.

The convenience store chain plans to add more products from Real Price which sells items manufactured by small and midsize companies. As of May, more than 70 companies are supplying around 300 kinds of industrial goods and food products to Real Price.

According to data from Statistics Korea, inflation rose to 5.4 percent in May as measured by the consumer price index. Using 2020 prices as a base of 100 points, the CPI put prices in May at 107.56 points, the data showed.