SEOUL, Dec. 20 (Korea Bizwire) – Four keywords selected by the agriculture ministry and state-operated entity that sum up the major trends expected to influence the dining industry in 2018 are: “Feel-Good Value”, “Big Blur”, “Dining out at Home”, and “Evolution of Korean Meals”.
Announced on December 19, the four phrases were chosen via a survey of 3,000 participants to analyze the major trends this year and a review of the results with twenty experts.
“Feel-good value” refers to the satisfaction customers feel about a particular establishment that goes beyond merely “great value for the price”. As diners increasingly emphasize the importance of feel-good value, the agriculture ministry expects dining establishments that differentiate themselves from their competitors through distinct interior design, creative food presentation and eye-catching tableware to rise to the top.
The recent surge in the number of tiny neighborhood cafés and corner restaurants, sights that trigger pangs of nostalgia in many South Koreans, are just two examples of how entrepreneurs are attempting to provide feel-good value.
With the rapid development and proliferation of delivery apps, online payment services and other technological advances, the distinct lines between online and offline business have become ambiguous, causing a “big blurr-ing” of the boundaries that once separated various sectors of the dining industry, a trend that is projected to grow next year.
Thanks to the big blur phenomenon and both the continued development of meal replacements and the increasing numbers of individuals eating alone, dining out at home – eating restaurant meals in the comfort of one’s home via delivery – is forecast to comprise a larger portion of the dining industry market. This trend will be buoyed by improved packaging and delivery methods that are anticipated to emerge.
Banchan, or side dishes, are perhaps the most iconic components of a traditional South Korean meal (kimchi, the national dish, is one type of banchan). However, restaurants that place greater focus on the main dish or entrée and reduce the number of banchan are projected to grow in popularity. Generally, most of the main dishes are soup and rice-based, like Busan’s pork soup and Pyeongyang-style naengmyeon (cold buckwheat noodles).
The frequency of dining out alone increased from 3.7 times per month last year to 4.1 this year.
Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)