Koreans Want More Bacon but Fewer Pigs

by 5m Editor
16 January 2007, at 12:07pm

SOUTH KOREA - On the Chinese zodiac, 2007 is the year of the pig, a golden pig at that. Whatever the year, Koreans have something of a love affair with pork. But the rising demand for pork bellies has come at a price: lagging sales of other types of pork.

Pork is the best-selling meat in Korea, accounting for almost half of per-capita meat consumption of 33 kilograms a year. One big reason for pork's popularity is Koreans' affection for samgyeopsal, or grilled bacon strips.

Pork has seen a steady rise in demand, but domestic pig farming has decreased over the years. The pork market is now heavily dependent on imports from more than 15 nations.

The Korea Meat Trade Association says last year's imports of pork bellies reached an all-time high of 84,000 tons, double the volume of five years ago.

Industry watchers say it's no exaggeration to say that Koreans are the biggest consumers of pork bellies in the world. But other parts of pork are not as sought after despite government efforts.

A government official said, ¡°Since 2004, we've advertised other parts of pork on television, radio, and print media under a 'healthy trio' concept."

Source: Chosun Ilbo

5m Editor