SEOUL, Sept. 29 (Korea Bizwire) — Vegan food, a diet that avoids the use of animal products, has been gaining popularity along with rising public awareness of animal rights among South Korean consumers.
Market Kurly, an online grocery delivery platform, reported on Monday that sales of vegan food from Sept. 1-23 jumped by 117 percent compared to the same period in the previous month.
Compared to the same period in last year, the increase was 146 percent.
Sales of bean snacks made with vegetables jumped by 592 percent, setting a new record for monthly growth.
Over the same period, SSG.COM, an online shopping mall run by Shinsegae Group, saw sales of vegan products more than double.
“There were fewer than 100 vegan items available last year. Now, we have more than 200 items,” SSG.COM said. “Food manufacturers are also scrambling to come up with additional vegan food products.”
The ‘vegan fever’ is sweeping through social media as well, based on a big data analysis.
The Small Enterprise and Market Service reported that from June 24 to Sept. 23, there were 8,215 social media mentions using the words, ‘vegan’ and ‘vegetarian diet’, which was 12.5 percent higher than the past three months.
“Food is no longer an act of having a simple meal, but a way of expressing the life values of an individual,” said Prof. Kim Seok-ho from Seoul University’s Department of Sociology.
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