Meat industry in South Korea - Statistics & Facts

A total of 2.55 million tons of meat were sold in South Korea in 2018, around half of it being pork, followed by poultry, as week as beef and veal. While many countries show a trend towards meat avoidance, the number of meat avoiders in South Korea is slightly increasing, but not significant. Between 2014 and 2018, the retail sales of free from meat products did slightly increase but is not forecasted to rise further. Meanwhile, the total of meat consumed in foodservice increased by around 7.3 percent between 2014 and 2018.

In order to meet the country’s demands, around 5.12 billion U.S. dollars’ worth of meat and edible meat offal were imported to South Korea in 2018, almost half of it coming from the United States. As of 2018, South Korea is the second biggest export destination for U.S. beef exports. Additionally, due to the rise of the domestic demand in pork meat in 2018, the imports rose accordingly. Again, more than one third of the pork meat imported in 2018 originated in the United States.

In 2018, each household spent around 55.3 thousand South Korean won (around 48 U.S. dollars as of January 2019) per month on meat. As of 2017, the main distribution channels for meat were hypermarkets and supermarkets, where more than two thirds of meat were sold. According to a survey among online grocery shoppers, consumers are reluctant to buy fresh meat online, ranking second place after seafood as the least popular grocery product for online shopping in the beginning of 2019.

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Meat industry in South Korea

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Production volume

Import value

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