South Koreans are starting to become more aware of what the term “free from” in packaged food means by becoming familiar with plant-based food. Free from dairy milk including milk alternatives such as soy drinks and almond drinks accounted for nearly half of all free from packaged food value sales in 2018.
Free from lactose milk not only saw the highest value growth in 2018 but is also expected to post a double-digit CAGR over the forecast period. Players have developed a marketing strategy that matches consumers’ eye level; they have renamed previously labelled “lactose-free milk” to “milk helping good digestion” or “milk helping good sleep” to help consumers quickly grasp its intended function.
Free from meat, mostly including tofu in South Korea, saw a value sales decline in 2018. Meat substitutes account for approximately half of total free from packaged food, as tofu is a very common food ingredient in South Korean food.
Maeil Dairies recorded the only double-digit value growth amongst the top five players in free from packaged food category in 2018. Even if the company’s value sales of soy drinks are declining, it continues overwhelmingly dominating value sales of free from lactose.
Pulmuone takes the largest value share within the free from meat category, thanks to its solid leading position with tofu in South Korea. However, the company has lost value share since 2013 when tofu was classified as a relevant industry only for middle- and small-sized manufacturers to boost mutual growth.
Pulmuone is shifting focus towards developing tofu snacking products targeting female consumers and children. In 2017 Pulmuone introduced Pororo silken tofu (spoonable tofu), which seems like a yoghurt with a famous Pororo animation character, targeting children, and according to the company it sold more than 200,000 units within only six months of launching the product.
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Overview: Discover the latest market trends and uncover sources of future market growth for the Food Intolerance industry in South Korea with research from Euromonitor's team of in-country analysts.
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