Sales of packaged kimchi are expected to grow 9.6 percent in 2017 from a year earlier, on rising demand from single-member households, industry data showed Sunday.
According to Daesang Co., a major ready-made kimchi producer, the domestic market for the product is expected to reach 1.39 trillion won (US$1.22 billion) this year from 1.27 trillion won posted in 2016.
The demand for kimchi for home use, especially, is expected to jump 25 percent on-year to reach 366.3 billion won, the data showed.
Daesang said that while the consumption of kimchi per capita is declining as Koreans' eating habits are becoming westernized, the rising number of single or two-person households has led to increased shipping of packaged kimchi.
South Korea's agricultural ministry said the average cost of producing kimchi using 20 heads of napa cabbage is estimated at 244,070 won this year.
While the cost of the same amount of ready-made kimchi stands roughly at 294,500 won, industry watchers said such products are still attractive to consumers, considering their reduced preparation time.
Hwi Won firstname.lastname@example.org
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