March 08, 2023 13:53
Koreans are eating out less and less as food prices soar amid runaway inflation.
Prices of restaurant meals surged nine percent on-year last September and were still going up at a rate of 7.5 percent last month.
The Korea Consumer Agency on Monday said the average price of eight staple dishes in downtown Seoul in January jumped 10.8 percent compared to a year earlier.
The price of bibimbap (rice with meat and vegetables) rose 8.8 percent to W10,000, naengmyeon (cold noodles) nine percent to W10,692, a serving of pork belly 12.1 percent to W19,001, gimbap (seaweed rice rolls) 12 percent to W3,100, samgyetang (chicken soup with ginseng) 11.8 percent to W16,000, kalguksu (noodle soup) 10.9 percent to W8,615, and kimchi jjigae (stew) 8.2 percent to W7,654 (US$1=W1,299).
A Statistics Korea official said, "Though the rise in global oil prices has recently stopped, higher oil prices are still being reflected in the price for services."
People are also not ordering in as much as they used to.
According to big data analysis Mobile Index, users of the three major delivery apps -- Baedal Minjok, Yogiyo and Coupang Eats -- dwindled by a whopping 1.68 million on-year as of January.
One office worker living in Seoul's Seongdong district said he no longer orders food or eats out, which he used to do at least twice a week. "By cutting down I can save up to W400,000 a month," he said.
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