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Coffee market in South Korea - statistics & facts

Coffee is a big deal in South Korea. Despite tea culture in the country dating back over one thousand years, nowadays coffee in its various forms is sold by a wide range of cafes and stores and is arguably the most popular drink in Korea. Coffee penetrated offices, restaurants, and homes in the 1970s with Dongsuh Foods Corporation’s innovation, instant coffee, which was easy to make and consume. Later in the 2000s, Koreans started to appreciate brewed coffees as well and in two decades the industry has now reached saturation.

Korean Love for Coffee

The average adult over 20 years old consumed around 353 cups of coffee in a year, almost one cup a day. Coffee has become the go-to beverage for a majority of South Koreans, still growing in popularity. This leads to continuously increasing coffee consumption in the country.

Among the most popular mega coffee franchises were Starbucks, A Twosome Place, and Ediya Coffee. The brand Mega Coffee has also gained great attention, opening up new stores all over South Korea. However, Ediya had the most cafes in South Korea as of 2020. These rivals compete vigorously across different domains such as dessert menus, discount policies, and user-friendly services. Many offer rooms where visitors can study or work, some even with video projectors and whiteboards.

New Trends for Coffee in Korea

Coffee drinkers have presented a polarization in consumption, from choosing budget options in convenience stores to exploring specialty flavors in local roasteries. Coffee merchants have strived to diversify the origin of coffee beans, enhance their own roasting skills, and develop coffee machines for households. As a reflection of their efforts, a survey conducted in 2016 suggested that coffee and other coffee beverages are together the most loved non-alcoholic beverages in South Korea, accounting for over a quarter of the respondents.

Furthermore, South Koreans are keen to experience new ways of enjoying coffee, which has been responsible for fads, like nitro cold brew and uniquely blended coffees. It appears that South Koreans’ taste for coffee remains strong and the cafe industry is bound to benefit from further innovations in this market.

Interesting statistics

In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 27 most important statistics relating to "Cafe industry and coffee drinkers in South Korea ".

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