Ginseng is Koreans' Most Popular Holiday Gift

      January 21, 2009 08:39

      Which gift item won the lunar New Year's Day sales war? Some would probably think something like beef ribs or traditional Korean sweets and cookies, but the correct answer is actually red ginseng, showing that people are prioritizing their health. On the other hand, beef ribs and dried yellow corbinas, once considered ideal holiday gifts, are not so popular these days, partly because of their high prices, say industry watchers.

      According to Lotte Department Store on Tuesday, of all the gift items sold from Jan. 9 to 18 ahead of the lunar New Year, healthy food items mainly consisting of red ginseng took up 24 percent, ranking top, followed by boneless fresh meat (14.5 percent), alcohol (12.8 percent), beef ribs (8.5 percent), and fruits and vegetables (6.1 percent). Yellow corbinas have slipped below 5th place. Sales of healthy food items also grew most, by 18 percent year-on-year among all the New Year's gift items.

      At Shinsegae Department Store, healthy food gift items consisting of red ginseng sold most, accounting for 26.8 percent of all holiday items sold from last Monday to Sunday, followed by boneless fresh meat (16.7 percent). Also at Hyundai Department Store, the sales growth for red ginseng reached 45 percent.

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