According to Statistics Korea, the ratio of single-person households in Korea increased from 15.5 percent to 25.3 percent between 2000 and 2013 and is estimated to exceed 31 percent in 2025.
Under the circumstances, convenience stores are benefiting greatly from the demographic trend. For example, the sales of packed lunch products of CU, the largest convenience store chain in Korea, grew at an annual average of more than 35 percent between 2012 and last year and soared by 46.1 percent in 2015 alone. The sales of small-packaged goods such as mineral water and fruit for single-person households are on the rise, too.
At the same time, an increasing number of consumers are enjoying small indulgences with hobby items, clothes, cosmetics, etc. “Kidults” and “groomers” are two of the typical examples of such consumers. More and more men are becoming conscious of how they look and purchasing a variety of beauty care products. On the 11ST online shopping mall, the sales of vibrating facial cleansers and mini curlers bought by male customers skyrocketed by 141 percent and 56 percent year-on-year in 2015, respectively. Convenience stores in Korea released a number of figures, including Avengers and Star Wars characters, last year to target kidult consumers and enjoyed a substantial growth in sales.
Another new trend of consumption is the “urban grannies,” which can be defined as groups of elderly people who care about their health, look and pastimes. They are purchasing a quantity of functional cosmetics and wearable healthcare devices. The sales of anti-aging cosmetics recorded by females in their 50s and 60s increased by 170 percent on 11ST last year, while the purchase of smartwatches by those in their 60s posted a growth of no less than 249 percent on Auction.