SEOUL, Jul. 19 (Korea Bizwire) — As South Korea’s economic slump continues to take its toll on consumers, and with the price of seafood on a steady rise, off-cuts of seafood that have been widely ignored by the public such as salmon head and squid mouth are becoming increasingly popular.
According to data released by online shopping site Auction, sales of salmon head between July 1 and 17 increased a whopping elevenfold compared to the same time last year, and industry officials believe versatility is behind the growing demand as the head of a salmon can be eaten roasted, or used in a soup or stew.
Another item that has enjoyed growing popularity in recent months is squid mouth, experiencing a 528 percent surge in sales on year, as its nutty taste and chewy texture have been well-received by the South Korean public as an appetizing drinking snack.
Sales of both salmon head and squid mouth surged after the rather unusual off-cuts received the cooking show treatment, which saw a significant number of Koreans share recipes and information on where to buy them on social media.
“In the face of economic hardships, the growing number of people enjoying cost effective off-cuts to try different dishes reflects the consumption trend of spending less for more. Some of the items such as squid mouth are experiencing a supply shortage,” said Im Hak-jin, a team leader of food product at Auction.
Sales of off-cuts of eel have also increased, as consumers hoping to get more bang for their buck find cheaper ways to enjoy one of the most popular ‘stamina’ foods of the summer season.
Retail giant E-mart’s efforts to take advantage of the new consumer trend by offering steak products made of off-cuts such as foreshank at affordable prices proved successful, with the company selling around 1.5 tons between July 13 and 17.
“Generally speaking, loin end along with sirloin and tenderloin are the three most popular cuts of beef, but sales of rump exceeded that of loin,” said an E-mart official.
“We hope consumption of different cuts of Korean beef such as rump steak increase.”
Hyunsu Yim (email@example.com)