Third party online ordering/delivery services have become increasingly popular in South Korea. Categories such as burger, chicken and pizza limited-service restaurants have aggressively developed their own platforms so that customers can easily place an order, make payment and have delivery to their doorstep, thus it is very important for full-service restaurants to establish distribution through third party online ordering/delivery service partners in South Korea, in order to remain competitive.
More major foodservice operators are investing heavily in ready meals with their signature menus, while smaller independent operators are also entering this market through partnerships with food manufacturers. For example, Bukje Sulongtang a chain of traditional beef bone soup restaurants, with a long history in South Korea, introduced its soup in the packaged food market, which is available through online food retailers, such as Market Kurly.
Independent full-service restaurants saw stronger growth than chained full-service restaurants in value terms in 2018, as South Korean consumers tends to prefer a unique experience when they eat out at a restaurant. Restaurants operated by well-known chefs and the authentic atmosphere of independent European restaurants have proved popular.
CJ Foodville Corp led full-service restaurants in 2018, with the company owning a variety of brands, such as Season’s Table and Cheil Jemyunso. CJ Foodville has been developing and promoting new menus in its various brands to meet consumers’ diversified preferences, but it has lost value share in full-service restaurants, as a number of new players have entered the category, making it much more competitive.
CJ Foodville closed its Japanese and Singaporean businesses in 2018, and is thus expected to focus more on its operations in South Korea and Southeast Asia. Its shift away from its previous strategy of seeking to enter overseas markets might help the company bolster its position in South Korea.
Due in large part to the popularity of its CEO, Baek Jong-won, the brands operated by Born Korea Co Ltd saw growth in 2018. Born Korean Co Ltd has several leading brands in the full-service restaurants category, such as Saemaul Sikang and HongKong BanJeom, and continues to establish new brands offering reasonably priced food to attract more consumers.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Consumer Foodservice market research database.