The recession has had a wide range of effects on the living patterns of office workers, with more and more turning to boxed lunches to save money instead of going out for a lunch.
According to a straw poll of 549 white collars conducted by job portal Job Korea last week, 23.1 percent of respondents said they usually have a boxed lunch delivered to their office these days.
When asked why, the largest number of respondents, or 39.4 percent, said they do not want to be bothered going out, while 34.7 percent said they want to save money. The poll showed that they spend an average of W4,700 (US$1=W1,152) on a boxed lunch, about W1,500 cheaper than the cost of an average meal at a restaurant.
As more people seek cheaper alternatives amid the deepening recession, convenience stores have seen their sales of boxed lunches surge. 7-Eleven said its sales have doubled in the first half from one year earlier, and GS25 also saw its sales jump 33.5 percent.
To meet the growing demand, the two convenience stores have added six new boxed lunches this year, selling 15 different kinds in total.