Local convenience store retailers have started offering more vegetarian and vegan options as the number of health-conscious Koreans are on the rise.
The Korean Vegetarian Union estimates there are between 1.5 million to 2 million vegetarians in the country, with 500,000 of them being vegan.
Retailers have started taking note of the rising demographics, releasing a set of new menu options that target vegetarians.
According to Korea Bizwire, CU has been selling lunch boxes, burgers, and gimbap that are entirely plant-based since last Tuesday.
“In addition to vegetarians, there has been a huge increase in demand for vegetables for health and environmental protection,” said Cho Seong-wook, head of BGF Retail’s convenience food team.
Nongshim, the nation’s top ramyeon maker, has also introduced its vegan-only offerings domestically after it had come under criticism for not selling them in Korea.
7-Eleven has also introduced a soy bulgogi burger, a mushroom and soybean kimbap and two sets of dumplings — one potato-based and the other with kalbi taste.