A bowl of shaved ice with sweet syrup and toppings, a popular basic summer refreshment, is more expensive than the average office worker's lunch.
The Korea National Council of Consumer Organizations carried out a survey of the price of the summer drinks and refreshments in Seoul, and the average price tag in the cheapest store was W7,750 (US$1=W1,030), W1,262 more than the W6,488 for the average lunch.
Coffee chains sell a bowl of shaved ice for an average of W9,341 and dessert cafes for W8,950. In some luxury hotels such as Hotel Shilla and W Seoul Walkerhill, the price can soar to W42,000.
The council said, "Even adding labor costs and shop rent to the raw material costs, it seems too much to pay more than W5,000 for a bowl of shaved ice."