SEOUL, Dec. 6 (Korea Bizwire) – Quick and easy to prepare microwavable meals, also called home meal replacements, are particularly popular among those in their 20s and 30s, research has found.
Instant rice like food company CJ’s Hetbahn and frozen dumplings were the two meal replacements most searched for on the Naver search engine’s shopping site.
The South Korean search giant teamed up with research firm Nielsen Korea and conducted a joint analysis of each company’s data pertaining to meal replacements, with the results disclosed on December 5.
On Naver’s main search page and in its shopping section, users in their 20s and 30s were responsible for 34.6 percent and 38.3 percent of all query language on meal replacements.
There was a noticeable gender gap in the number of searches made using meal replacement keywords, with searches by women (65 percent) nearly double those of men (35 percent).
After instant rice (32.5 percent) and frozen dumplings (18.1 percent), other commonly searched meal replacement categories were soups and stews in retort pouches (8.4 percent), cereal (8.1 percent) and cereal bars (6.3 percent).
On Naver’s main search page, “dosirak” or lunch box was searched the most (21 percent), followed by instant rice, frozen dumplings and soups and stews.
A Nielsen Korea representative said, “After analyzing [Nielsen Korea's] sales data of offline retailers, we found the meal replacements that were selling in high quantities were frozen dumplings, instant rice, cereal, frankfurter sausages and refrigerated noodles in order of popularity, a finding largely consistent with the results of Naver’s search data analysis.”
Naver revealed that searches for meal replacements had risen by 26 percent this year compared to 2016. The year-on-year surge was massive in Naver’s shopping section, where searches increased by 132 percent.
According to Nielsen Korea, no consumer good shows a steeper growth trajectory than meal replacements. In the first half of the year alone, the meal replacement market grew by 7.7 percent compared to the same period last year. Over a one-year period from July 2016 to June of this year, the meal replacement market was valued at 2.01 trillion won.