In a temporary trend reversal, sustainability-driven development in packaging has stalled as result of the coronavirus pandemic, as priorities have shifted towards hygiene and product protection. As such, a rise in disposable packaging has been seen, fuelled by increased demand for takeout food and home delivery.
South Korean authorities avoided lockdowns and instead pursued a strategy of early and aggressive mass testing, isolating anybody infected and tracking their movements to locate other people who had come into contact with them. Within two weeks of its first case, the country was producing more than 100,000 test kits per day and it had tested over 600,000 people by early May.
Growth in smaller pack sizes was seen across the board in sauces, dressings and condiments packaging in 2019, with mustard in 40g squeezable tubes, dry sauces in 30g flexible aluminium/plastic and bouillon in 100g flexible aluminium/plastic among the biggest winners during the year. The background trend supporting growth in small pack sizes is the increasing numbers of people living in 1- and 2-person households in urban areas throughout South Korea.
The leading soft drinks player Lotte Chilsung has launched 160ml mini cans, which are two thirds the size of market standard 250ml cans. Mini bottles have appeared in the bottled water category as well; Lotte Chilsung has introduced 200ml and 300ml bottled waters, where a 500ml bottle is the norm.
The recent launch of new packaging that uses clear material has been changing the alcoholic drinks packaging industry. The transparent packaging is used to highlight a clean and milder image and is popular with younger adult consumers of legal drinking age who practice mindful drinking.
Within a highly competitive landscape, beauty and personal care players continued to try to attract consumers with new and exciting packaging formats. In March 2019, new brand Beauty SPA Stimmung was launched in Korea and introduced a unique packaging concept in colour cosmetics.
Chemophobia continued to impact consumers’ consumption behaviour when buying home care products in 2019, undermining home care packaging sales. To support sales, manufacturers focused on improving product quality and increasingly switched to natural ingredients such as baking powder while also offering sustainable packaging.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Packaging industry in South Korea with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
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