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Korea`s 10,000 coffee shops earned 2 trillion won in sales

Korea`s 10,000 coffee shops earned 2 trillion won in sales

Posted January. 25, 2012 06:44,   


The term “doenjangnyeo” heated up the Internet in summer 2006. The Internet-born neologism refers to women eating a bowl of doenjang jjiggae (soybean paste soup) for 3.50 U.S. dollars then going to Starbucks for a 6-dollar coffee.

This practice characterized young women who blindly pursued brand-name goods and a luxurious lifestyle but whose real life was far from posh. Despite this controversy, the Korean coffee market is fast being reorganized by coffee shops selling brewed coffee over the past five years.

According to research by KB Financial Group released Tuesday, the number of coffee shops in Korea reached 12,381 last year, up 54 percent from 8,038 from the previous year. Sales jumped 59.7 percent to 2.48 trillion won (2.2 billion dollars) from 1.55 trillion won (1.4 billion dollars) over the same period. The number of coffee shops shot up 887.3 percent from 1,254 with sales climbing 1,598.8 percent in five years. Coffee shops are now spreading from the Seoul metropolitan area to the country`s five major cities.

Instant coffee-mix products took up 64.2 percent of coffee consumption last year, with coffee shops accounting for just 7.8 percent, but this is changing fast. Dongsuh Food, a dominant player in Korea’s coffee industry, said consumption of brewed coffee expanded an annual average of 19.2 percent between 2006 and last year, with that of coffee-mix packets growing just 6.1 percent in the five-year period and slowing to 1.4 percent last year.

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