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Korea’s coffee business thrives amidst Covid-19 year

The number of coffee stores increased of 15.5 percent y-o-y to total 71,906 in South Korea as of January, meaning one per every 322 household as the business was unfazed during Covid-19 epidemic with the country’s coffee-loving people had coffee to go or delivered to home out even when drinking-in was banned.

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Coffee openings topped among 19 eatery types last year, according to business registry with the National Tax Service (NTS). As many as 71,906 shops are in business after an increase of 15.5 percent over a year, tripling 25,232 Chinese diners that can be found in every neighborhood in the country.

New openings mostly were outside the capital region. Jeju Island saw an increase of 284 stores over the past year to 1,517, the fastest on-year increase at 23 percent. The number of coffee shops in South Jeolla Province grew by 22.3 percent from last year, Gwangju 20.8 percent, South Gyeongsang Province 18.9 percent, Gangwon Province 16.7 percent and Sejong 16.4 percent.

Sungshin Women’s University professor Chang Seong-chul said Jeju has been seeing an increasing number of new coffee shops as the island become the most popular holiday destination amid Covid-19, and the demand for coffee would continue to rise for the time being.

Koreans drink 353 cups of coffee on average per year, nearly three times more than the global average of 132 cups, according to Hyundai Research Institute.

Their habit was undistributed by pandemic.

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According to the Korea Customs Service, the nation’s coffee imports hit a record high of $737.8 million last year, up 11.5 percent from the previous year.

About 100 to 300 more new franchised coffee shops opened the door last year. Mega Coffee, the take-out cheap coffee chain, added 400 more new stores last year, adding more pressure on mom-and-pop stores

(Source: Pulse News)