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According to Yonhap News,
(SEOUL=Yonhap News) The South Korean market for desserts has been expanding rapidly over the past years despite the country's prolonged economic slump, industry data showed Thursday.
The dessert market was estimated at 1.5 trillion won in 2015, up a whopping 90 percent from the previous year. Last year, the market more than doubled to 800 billion won from 300 billion won in 2013.
In a recent report, Eugene Investment & Securities Co. predicted the figure to breach the 2 trillion won mark this year as several domestic and foreign companies enter the local dessert market.
Market watchers attribute the dessert market's rapid growth to the spread of "value-conscious consumption" amid the atrophy of overall consumer spending, which stems from job insecurity and falling income.
While cutting back on spending on daily necessities, more young women who are willing to open their wallets to buy products and experiences that boost their quality of life are taking comfort in purchasing expensive-tasting desserts.
Men in their 30s to 50s who are conscious of their appearance and active in investments to boost their value have joined the trend, they said, adding that young people's desires to post pretty and special pictures on social media has also contributed.
With the dessert market growing rapidly, local food makers and retailers are rushing to capitalize on its growth potential.
The SPC Group, which owns South Korea's largest confectionery chain Paris Baguette, opened a dessert gallery in central Seoul in 2007, blazing a trail in the country's premium dessert market.
Last year, the group put the eclair on the domestic market. In March, sales of "Kopan," a dessert-snack bread from Paris Baguette, numbered 10 million in nine months. Short for Korean pan, Kopan was served as a dessert at the Korea-France summit dinner in Paris in November last year.
CJ Jeiljedang Corp., South Korea's largest food and feed company, aims to post sales of 150 billion won from its dessert business this year and raise the figure to 300 billion won by 2020 by focusing on frozen desserts.
Industry sources said South Korean dessert makers are ramping up efforts to tap overseas markets. South Korean dessert cafe franchise Sulbing, known for its "bingsu" dish, plans to open its first branch in Tokyo. Sulbing already operates scores of outlets in China and Thailand. Bingsu is a traditional dessert made up of shaved ice, red beans and an array of toppings such as milk syrup and rice cakes.
An SPC official said the South Korean dessert market is expected to grow for the time being as having desserts after meals has become a trend among local youth.
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Source: Yonhap News (Jun. 09, 2016)