SEOUL, Mar. 15 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korea’s convenience store (CVS) chains are increasing the number of outlets selling instant brewed coffee amid growing popularity of the cheap beverage, industry sources said Thursday.
South Korea’s largest convenience store chain, CU, said it will raise the number to more than 12,000, from the current 8,000, by the end of June this year.
Other major convenience store chains, GS25 and 7-Eleven, said they will increase the numbers to 10,300 and 6,000 from 8,500 and 4,200, respectively.
CU said sales of instant coffee came in second only after Binggrae Co.’s banana-flavored milk, the traditional top-seller at all convenience stores, for the one-month period from Feb. 13, a drastic surge from 10th during the same period last year. The sales rankings did not include tobacco or liquor.
“Sales of instant coffee are threatening to exceed that of the traditional top-seller, banana-flavored milk, as instant coffees are sold at one third the price of coffee from coffee shops,” a CU source said.
A cup of Americano of CU’s instant coffee brand, “Cafe GET,” costs 1,200 won (US$1.10) per cup.
CU sold more than 60 million cups of Cafe GET last year, up from 45 million in 2016 and 25 million in 2015.
7-Eleven sold 81.5 million cups of instant brewed coffee since it introduced the instant coffee brand “Seven Cafe” in January 2015.
GS25, meanwhile, sold 64 million cups of instant brewed coffee last year, a sharp rise from 23 million in the previous year.