Health food sales grow despite chronic economic slump: data
SEOUL, March 20 (Yonhap) -- Sales of red ginseng and other health-related products surged in recent years despite a slumping economy as people are becoming more health conscious, data showed Monday.
Such a trend shows consumers opening their pockets on products they deem valuable despite challenging economic conditions, industry analysts said.
Sales of health food rose 72 percent in 2016 from a year earlier on the online shopping mall 11th Street, a company official said. The comparable figures were 27 percent in 2015 and 44 percent in 2014.
Sales of red ginseng products jumped 220 percent in 2016 from the previous year, the official said. The unit price of red ginseng goods averaged 152,000 won (US$134).
Vitamins and other nutritional supplements sales climbed a solid 30 percent and 55 percent, respectively, last year from the previous year.
11th Street also sold 58 percent more exercise cycles for gyms last year from a year earlier.
The average price of such cycles stood at around 249,000 won.
GMarket, another online shopping mall, said it also witnessed an increase of 32 percent in sales of fitness products and 40 percent growth in sales of health foods in 2016 from the previous year.
"We are seeing a growing number of customers investing heavily in health foods and products," a company official said. "Sales of expensive red ginseng goods have risen dramatically in recent years, and that shows consumers are focusing more on the value of products than on prices."