With the demographic of tourists visiting Korea becoming increasingly diverse, the range of products purchased has also changed. The sale of household goods is as strong as the constantly increasing sales of cosmetic and clothing. In addition to traditional foods and goods, a variety of character merchandise and lifestyle products are also very popular amongst tourists. Read on to learn more about the latest popular shopping items!
【 Photo: Character store at Lotte World Mall 】 【 Photo: Character store at a department store in Myeong-dong 】
As the popularity of Korean messenger service increases, the animated characters of each service can be found in their offline stores that sell the character merchandise. These offline stores can be found at major attractions and shopping destinations, such as Dongdaemun, Myeong-dong, COEX Mall, and Times Square. Among the products, designer stationery items are especially popular with young adults.
【 Photo: Hanbang shampoo 】 【 Photo: Bamboo salt toothpaste 】
Besides the usual Korean cosmetics, bath and facial cleansing products are often sought by many tourists upon visiting Korea. With the rising popularity of hanbang (traditional Korean herbal medicine) cosmetics that are scientifically formulated with various herbs, other hanbang products such as shampoo, soap, and bamboo salt are also in high demand.
On top of that, the Korean-style exfoliating washcloths are also experiencing growing popularity. All of these items are readily available at any convenience store, supermarket or large retail shop.
【 Photo: Rice cookers 】 【 Photo: Automatic bidets 】
While TVs, refrigerators and other Korean electrical appliances have always been popular, the Korean rice cooker in particular remains as one of the most well-liked items for tourists from Asian countries where rice is a staple food. Juicers, automatic bidets and air purifiers are also frequently sought after by many.
Although visiting retail shops that specialize in electronic appliances would be the best, electronic appliances can also be found at major marts and department stores.
Baby & Kitchen Products
【 Photo: Wet tissues for babies 】 【 Photo: Double-sided frying pans 】
Following the increasing number of tourists who fall in the age range of 20 to 39, sales of baby products have also seen an upward trend. Baby products in Korea have gained recognition for its high level of quality, safety and design. Most popular items include diapers, baby wipes and laundry detergent for baby clothes.
Recently, the sales of kitchen products have also been rising. Particularly, airtight containers, pots and multi-purpose double-sided frying pans have soaring sales. All of these aforementioned items can be easily found and purchased at major retail shops, department stores or even traditional markets.
【 Photo: Local traditional alcohol 】 【 Photo: Variety of Korean cup noodles 】
Quick snacks, drinks and instant food are the most popular items in groceries. While the sale of soju (Korean distilled spirit) is seeing a slight downward trend, makgeolli (Korean rice wine) is now seeing a rise in sales. Organic snacks are also popular for its high quality ingredients. Korean dramas have played a significant role in increasing the sales of Korean ramyeon (instant noodles) as scenes of the protagonists eating tend to stimulate the appetites of K-drama fans.
Along with instant noodles, representative Korean foods such astteokbokki (stir-fried rice cakes) and samgyetang (ginseng chicken soup) are also increasing in sales as they are now packed in easy-to-cook retort pouches that have a simple cooking process. Korean instant coffee, yujacha (citron tea) and O'Sulloc green tea are also some best sellers among grocery shopping items.
*This page was last updated on September 26, 2018, and therefore information may differ from what is presented here.