Discount stores

Simple Meals discount store sales rise as cost of restaurant meals soars

Sandwiches and salads are displayed at an E-Mart outlet in Seoul on Aug. 3, 2022. (Yonhap)

Sandwiches and salads are displayed at an E-Mart outlet in Seoul on Aug. 3, 2022. (Yonhap)

SEOUL, August 5 (Korea Bizwire)As high inflation continues, increasing numbers of South Koreans are turning to simple meals at discount stores.

E-Mart Inc., a discount chain of the Shinsegae Group, saw sales of simple meals such as sandwiches, salads and gimbap (seaweed rice rolls with vegetables) jump 25% from January to July of this year compared to a year ago.

In particular, sales of sandwiches and salads increased by 30% and 95% respectively.

Sales of samgak gimbap (triangle-shaped gimbap) increased by 48% and sales of microwaveable dishes such as bibimbap (a traditional dish that mixes rice, vegetables, meat and hot pepper paste ) and pasta increased by 30%.

Sales of gimbap and other food wraps increased by 26% each. These products usually cost between 4,000 and 5,000 won (3.07 to 3.84 USD).

The number of customers who purchased simple meals during lunch hours from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. increased by 20%, with sales of these meals during the lunch hour increasing by 30%.

Another discount chain, Homeplus, also saw lunchtime sales of its instant food section jump 49% year-on-year in the June 18-July 17 period, while sales of sandwiches and salads also increased by 172% year-on-year.

JS Shin ([email protected])