In South Korea, you can bite into a black and white cream cookie sandwich called a “Gameo”, made by the Korean company Orion. Or, you can eat Haitai’s ring of buttery Danish-style pastry cookie called a “Butter Ring”. While these imitations of foreign cookie brands may seem similar in every way, Korean consumers are angry that they are more expensive than the imported version. Protest was especially sharp after reports last week that snack contents decreasing.
Article from MB:
Domestic Cookies More Expensive than the Imported ‘Original’
Companies raised the price of snacks at the end of last year, with domestic snack brands often being more expensive than the imported snack brands.
The cost of ingredients, labor and distribution has gone up, but it’s hard to see how the price could be more expensive than that of imported goods.
Reporter Nam Sangho compared the two–domestic snacks and imported snacks:
Brownish round biscuits made from wholewheat..
On the left side is the British original snack, the right side is the Korean domestic snack brand.
It’s not just the shape, but the ingredients used, even the name of the product is the same.
Technical cooperation has enabled this domestic company that was making the same cookies as the British originals to launch their own brand 10 years ago.
The domestic brand is more expensive than the original.
Chang-Suk Kang, a customer, said, ‘Its price is high because it is supposed to be high-end. I end up buying it for my kids, thinking it is a good product…’
We also compared other famous foreign brands with their domestic counterparts.
The crackers are the same, from the way they can be broken into three pieces, to the sandwich shape, and the cream that goes between the two pieces.
But the domestic brand is more expensive.
From just looking, it’s hard to tell where each of these chocolate cookies came from, but the original brand is actually the cheapest, and the domestic brand is 10-40% more expensive.
It’s hard to see why [the Korean domestic brand is more expensive] with the tariff, distribution costs, and copyright costs that go into the price of foreign goods.
SuHyun Lee, a customer, said, ‘Imported snacks are cheaper and tastier. For the similar types, imported ones seem better.’
They explain it by saying that when domestic companies import ingredients, they pay customs, but well-known large and multi-national corporations have access to raw materials, so it’s much cheaper.
Comments from Naver:
This is too much. Let’s boycott them. Prices continue to rise while the content decreases…Consumers are really being deceived.
chle****: [Responding to above]
I’m not going to eat snacks anymore.
Both the ruling party and the opposition party do not say a thing about this kind of issue. What on earth are you guys doing? Go to the Fair Trade Commission and threaten to have them turn in their resignation if they can’t resolve it.
zipe****: [Responding to above]
It must be because the lawmakers have taken bribes from the snack companies. So they can’t bring up the issue…
This isn’t the first or second time customers are treated like pushovers in Korea. What’s new about it~
Seeing this, they’ve really gone too far now…
When I buy snacks, they are full of nitrogen. Snacks are just secondary. ㅠㅠ Such expensive nitrogen. [netizens mock snack companies by saying they only sell the nitrogen to fill the packaging.]
Let’s buy imported snacks instead. Their deception on customers is on par with Hyundai-Kia Motors. [Netizens often accuse Hyundai of selling poorer quality cars at higher prices to domestic customers.]
Imported snack sales are rapidly rising. Domestic snack companies should be prepared to get owned. Consumers are already turning their back on them.