South Korea has one of the world’s highest penetration rates for smart mobile devices. The country’s residents are known for their love of the latest communication technologies and this means that writing instruments are becoming less relevant with every passing year.
2019 saw colouring lead growth in writing instruments, with roller ball pens also performing well. The main reason for this relatively high sales growth is that the leading players in roller ball pens are focused on constantly launching new products which represent genuine innovation, specifically products with smoother nibs and better ink that are easier and more comfortable to use.
South Korea’s birth rate remains low. This is mainly due to the pressures that young couples in Korean society currently face, specifically the pressure to develop a strong career and attain a certain level of economic stability, which often takes many years and leads them to delay starting a family and having fewer children when they eventually do.
Leading player Mitsubishi Pencil Co Ltd registered the highest sales growth in writing instruments in 2018 as it extended its lead at the top of the rankings in the category. The company’s Uni brand has been particularly successful in South Korea and this is not least because of the recent success of the very popular Uni Zetstream product range.
Second-placed Mon Ami is the leading local manufacturer of writing instruments and the company continued to register negative growth in sales and value share in 2018. In response, the company has engaged in stronger efforts to relate more closely to consumers.
Domestic manufacturers remain a strong presence in writing instruments in South Korea. While Japanese players such as Mitsubishi, Pilot, Zebra and Sakura are generally the pace setters in writing instruments in South Korea, domestic players have been able to maintain a strong presence.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our writing instruments market research database.