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Trend Insight

Researching the food culture trends of Korea

한국 음식이 놓인 테이블에 둘러 앉은 다양한 국적의 사람들 이미지

Changes in Korean Consumers’
HMR Experience: Episode 1 - Rice

2019.05.25

These days, people are no strangers to home meal replacement (HMR) products, convenience food products that can be quickly enjoyed at home with ease.

Food companies are introducing a diverse range of HMR products into the market, from products based on rice — a staple food in South Korea — such as general microwavable rice, frozen fried rice, cupbahn, and porridge to side dishes such as soup, stew to snacks such as pizza, and hot dogs.
With that in mind, how are the HMR purchase experience rates among Korean consumers changing? We are going to take a look at the changes in the HMR purchase experience rates among Korean consumers that have occurred over the past three years in relation to three categories, ① rice, ② side dishes, and ③ snacks.

Episode 1: Changes in Purchase Experience Rates for Products in the Rice Category

For this survey, we have divided the products in the rice category into four types, general microwavable rice, frozen fried rice, cupbahn, and porridge.

이미지 설명 아래 내용 참조
Changes in Purchase Experience Rates for Products in the Rice Category over the Period of 2016-2018
productHouseholds purchased by yearGap between 2016 and 2018
201620172018
General microwavable rice (white rice and multigrain rice) 627 689 756 129
Frozen fried rice 311 428 483 173
Cupbahn 219 363 432 213
Porridge 224 372 416 192

단위: million households

*Number of households who have purchased a product in the category at least once in a given year

Source KWP. Duration: a period of one year, ending in September

  • · The purchase experience rate for general microwavable rice is the highest among products in the rice category
  • · The purchase experience rate for frozen fried rice is low compared to general microwavable rice but shows a steady increase over the period.
  • · The purchase experience rate for cupbahn has increased most rapidly over the period.
  • · The purchase experience rate for porridge shows a similar trend to cupbahn and has increased rapidly over the period.

Purchase experience rate refers to the number of households who have purchased a product in a given category at least once over the year. The changes in purchase experience rates that have occurred over the past three years can be construed as follows:

이미지 설명 아래 내용 참조
The number of households who have purchased a cupbahn product at least once in a given year has increased by about 2.13 million for the past 3 years - This accounts for 54% of the total number of households in Seoul.

The following graphs compare the purchase experience rates for each category divided by life stage.

01

General Microwavable Rice (white rice and multigrain rice)

이미지 설명 아래 내용 참조
General Microwavable Rice (white rice and multigrain rice) Life Stage-Specific Purchase Experience Rates for 2018
TotalOne- to two-person householdsHouseholds with preschool childrenHouseholds with grade-schoolersHouseholds with middle/high schoolersHouseholds with college students or olderSenior households
7.56 million households Highest overall Slightly higher than overall Slightly lower than overall Slightly higher than overall Slightly lower than overall Lowest overall
  • · The purchase experience rate for rice products is the highest among one- to two-person households. In addition, households with young children such as those with preschoolers and with middle/high schoolers also show high purchase experience rates.
  • · In the case of senior households, although they show a low purchase experience rate compared to other life stages, the increase in purchase experience rate over the three years is the sharpest among them (17.3% increase from 2016 to 2018).
02

Frozen Fried Rice

이미지 설명 아래 내용 참조
Frozen Fried Rice Life Stage-Specific Purchase Experience Rates for 2018
TotalOne - to two-person householdsHouseholds with preschool childrenHouseholds with grade-schoolersHouseholds with middle/high schoolersHouseholds with college students or olderSenior households
4.83 million households Slightly lower than overall Very high overall Highest overall Very high overall Very low overall Lowest overall
  • · Households with young children such as those with preschoolers and with middle/high schoolers show high purchase experience rates.
03

Cupbahn

이미지 설명 아래 내용 참조
Cupbahn Life Stage-Specific Purchase Experience Rates for 2018
TotalOne- to two-person householdsHouseholds with preschool childrenHouseholds with grade-schoolersHouseholds with middle/high schoolersHouseholds with college students or olderSenior households
4.32 million households Slightly higher than overall Slightly higher than overall Slightly higher than overall Highest overall Slightly lower than overall Lowest overall
  • · One- to two-person households and households with young children show high purchase experience rates, with the purchase experience rate among households with middle/high schoolers being the highest.
04

Porridge

이미지 설명 아래 내용 참조
Porridge Life Stage-Specific Purchase Experience Rates for 2018
TotalOne- to two-person householdsHouseholds with preschool childrenHouseholds with grade-schoolersHouseholds with middle/high schoolersHouseholds with college students or olderSenior households
4.16 million households Slightly higher than overall Slightly lower than overall Slightly higher than overall Highest overall Slightly lower than overall Lowest overall
  • · One- to two-person households, households with grade-schoolers, and households with middle/high schoolers show high purchase experience rates.

In this episode, we took a look at how Korean consumers’ HMR purchasing experience is changing in terms of products based on rice, which is a staple food in Korea. In the next episode, you will learn about the changes in regard to side dishes and snacks, which often accompany staple foods.