For years, the fried chicken market had been dominated by big name conglomerates, but this is changing.

Image source – Instagram @greedcat, @seoultravel

Fried chicken has become a quintessential late-night snack for many South Koreans fueling a particular economy and culture for this food item.

Over the years, the style of Korean fried chicken has changed. In the 1970’s the typically salt-and-pepper type dominated. As the 80s and 90s came, different flavors became mainstream including spicy, sweet, and various sauced varieties; with the 2000s, a change in the cooking style of chicken emerged, such as backing instead of frying.

Furthermore, throughout those years one element has remained constant: large franchise brands. For decades these companies have competed against each other in the fried chicken market Along the way they developed different methods to bring people into their shops including special deals and celebrity endorsements.

Yoo Jae-Suk has been a spokesperson for NeNe Chicken since 2007 – NeNe Chicken

However, according to a recent report, customers now prefer independent chicken shops with distinctive recipes. This is according to a survey conducted by the food delivery app People’s Delivery (배달의민족). For the survey, People’s Delivery analyzed data from 25,000 chicken restaurants from the national registration center.

As a result, they discovered a stead trendline favoring independent and local establishments. In fact, the ten best performing eateries in 2016 were small and medium-size neighborhood-based restaurants. This is a huge change from 2015 before where large franchises claimed six of the ten spots.

Back in 2014, these kinds of restaurants accounted for only 41 percent of the of the fried chicken market. Later in 2016, this rose to 59 percent and in 2017 they dominated with a 61 percent majority.

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Local eatery Hot Star Fried Chicken offers whole chicken breasts deep fried and flavored with a choice of sauces and powders.

Ryu Jin, a public relations director related to the delivery app said that they believe that this trend in the chicken market reflects the social atmosphere. Right now, health, individual tastes, and diversity have become important and driven change as a result.

Utilizing Mobile Applications

The increase of non-franchised stores has also crossed over to the online and mobile environments. These restaurants are focusing on online advertising rather than traditional flyers and promotional brochures. In particular, as more and more people order food on their phones delivery apps have emerged as the most effective advertising tool for stores.

The use of these mobile applications has an additional benefit of allowing users to check reviews from actual customers. As such, they get to choose where they want to eat based on actual taste evaluations rather than brand awareness and familiarity.



Original article

Translated by O.C