Pork Belly Day Ignites Marketing Blitz

SOUTH KOREA - Korean retailers are competing to cut the prices of pork belly as today is the day when the country's farmers promote consumption of the popular dish, dubbed "samgyeopsal."
calendar icon 3 March 2010
clock icon 3 minute read

3 March is picked for the event because samgyeopsal, which means "three-layered pork" in Korean, is commonly served as an evening meal thanks to its taste and low price, according to The Korea Times.

The nation's major retail chains, which have been involved in keen competition of late in cutting down prices of their products, are leading the marketing blitz.

Lotte Mart, the nation's third-largest discount chain with 70 outlets, has prepared 200 tons of pork belly for the Samgyeopsal Day and almost halved its prices at 950 won per 100 grams.

Samsung Tesco Homeplus, the No. 2 player, is also selling at less than 1,000 won per 100 grams. From 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. today, the entity plans to sell other pork cuts at the same price.

"In the previous years, we discounted samgyeopsal prices on just 3 March. But this year, we started lowering prices on March 1 for customers," a Samsung spokeswoman said.

This pleases end customers, who have already substantially benefited from the price competition between the top three discount chains ― E-Mart, Samsung Tesco Homeplus and Lotte Mart ― this year.

The price war started this January as the three big players tried to undercut the shares of their competitors in the saturated market. It subdued later but shows signs of restarting this month.

Department stores also participated in the pork belly event spearheaded by Hyundai Department Store and Shinsegae Department Store.

Hyundai's seven outlets in Seoul and its vicinity will reduce prices of the cuts by about 20 per cent through this Wednesday and Shinsegae is also offering discounts for the meat.

The events are expected to boost the consumption of samgyeopsal across the country because lovers of pork are typically attracted by its low prices even before the discount for Samgyeopsal Day.

The meat is widely consumed both in homes and restaurants here. It is also used as an ingredient for other Korean dishes. It is not seasoned or marinated and is generally cooked on a grill.

Many surveys found that Korean adults' most favorite pork part is samgyeopsal and one of the biggest reasons for the popularity was the low prices.

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