Korea’s Fried Chicken Prices Rise But Chicken Is Cheap

Article from SBS News:

As the number of chicken consumers goes down, the price of chicken is steadily falling. The producer price for 1 kg of chicken is 1,431 won – a 2.2% decrease since one year ago. When comparing the average price over the span of 5 years from 2010 to 2014, it has fallen around 24%, and is projected to fall even lower to 1,200 won next month.

Yet, as the price of chicken continues to fall, the price of fried chicken continues to go up. Why is this?

For more on the story, we will go to Reporter Eom Min-jae.

The chicken being sold here in supermarkets is being sold for a lower price than it was last year.

Supermarket employee Ahn Jeong-gong: “The chicken prices are being sold for 5-8% less than they were at the same time last year.”

However, the price of fried chicken, which uses chicken as a [main] ingredient, continues to rise.

The street price for fried chicken is nearly 20,000 won, and when sauces are added it exceeds even that.

Results of a study show that over the past 10 years, chicken prices have risen 25%, while fried chicken prices have risen 45%.

Manufacturers say the price of chicken does not have an influence over the price of fried chicken.

Fried chicken restaurant owner: “You are only thinking about the price of chicken. But that doesn’t make much of a difference.”

For one whole fried chicken, the chicken costs make up 20% of the total price. 80% of the costs come from other ingredients, wages, and maintaining the restaurant.

Since the high price of fried chicken leads to a reduction in consumer demand, poultry farmers have asked chicken restaurants to lower their prices.

Korean Poultry Association managing director, Hwang Il-soo: “Consumers will have a hard time accepting that fried chicken prices have risen so much over such a short period of time.”

Even as the price of chicken falls next month, it will be hard to find a fried chicken restaurant that will reduce its prices.

Comments from Naver :


Nationally overrated BBQ [Chicken] 10 characters


A while back it was just 9,000 won and now it’s gotten almost twice as expensive..


Chickens can’t fly high compared to the fried chicken who reaches new heights


This flavor is us living in Joseon hell. [‘Joseon Hell’ refers to Korea in a depreciative way.]


Mr. Chicken.. you’re expensive but I keep thinking about you ㅠㅠ


Get rid of some of those celebrity endorsements. Are they supposed to guarantee the chicken tastes good?


Chicken [from the store] is only a little over 1,000 won, but at a franchise restaurant it’s 20,000… someone please explain


Isn’t it just the Korean price of goods? If it goes up, nobody expects it to go down.


If the price of chicken goes down, they say it’s not a big enough of a change from the original price. But if it goes up, they say it’s risen so much that raising prices [of fried chicken] is inevitable.


BBQ [a fried chicken franchise] seems so fucking expensive


Because you guys are like “Oh Godly Chicken, Godly Chicken”, they always raise the prices ㅠㅠ let’s just keep our worship reasonable


Fried chicken is so expensive these days… Consumers say Godly Chicken Godly Chicken and they just raise the prices but there’s still a lot of demand?

We believe in Mr. Chicken

We believe in Mr. Chicken


Yet again, they will say real estate and oil prices etc. do this… chicken got cheaper but fried chicken doesn’t want to


This doesn’t make any sense. Let’s boycott NeNe Chicken.


Large franchise royalties and real estate prices… ingredients and part-time employee salaries are not a factor.


Let’s try to eat cheaply please! ke


Fried chicken is expensive, so expensive really expensive


The economy isn’t good but still the fried chicken companies are busy raising their prices. Stop making up these new gross fried chicken [flavors] and just perfect the original.


If it keeps going on like this neighborhood fried chicken places will lose business and won’t be able to earn a living ! Franchises are like the more the better.. and stop sneaking around!


I cannot understand why fried chicken brands need to use famous celebrities in their advertisements. It doesn’t even make up 1% of my decision when choosing a fried chicken place. I just order fried chicken because I crave it that day. I love Yoo Jae-seok but I have never ordered from NeNe Chicken. I like Lee Min-ho but I’ve never ordered from Kyochon Chicken.

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  • Doge Wallace

    치느님 is not really Mr. Chicken. I think it’s more like referring to fried chicken as a god.

    Also the first translated comment “Nationally overrated BBQ [Chicken] 10 characters” doesn’t make sense, perhaps the “자” in “10자” doesn’t mean characters in this case?

    • Mr. Bojangles

      The “10 characters” is something that people type in order to meet the 10-character quota that some message boards require in order to post a comment. If you have less than 10 characters in your message, you can’t post it.

      Here’s the urban dictionary link to the definition:


      • Doge Wallace


  • commander

    The rising costs of advertisements, featured by celebrities, increasingly fierce competition among chicken franchise owners–those who have nothing to do but opening chicken shops after retirement or dismissal from companies–and growing franchise royalties.

    All of these factors contribute to unchanged fried chicken prices despite a downward or leveling-off trend in raw chicken prices.

  • Because fried chicken is popular as fuck in SK and companies just want to make money off of it.

  • Xman2014

    “A while back it was just 9,000 won and now it’s gotten almost twice as expensive..”

    Yeah, when? Like 15 years ago? Sometimes some of these people are still living in a dream world.

  • bigmamat

    Chicken may be the main ingredient but it’s not the only one. There is flour, spices and oil. Spices and oil are likely the most costly ingredients per pound anyway. Then there’s real estate. Here in the US we see a lot of mom and pop restaurants close because they can’t pay the rent or all of the other business related costs. People are being silly thinking that just because raw chicken in the grocery store costs less than fried chicken the price should go down. You can always go back to frying at home, an iron skillet works especially nice.

  • ultimategore

    fried chicken is so popular in korea. that means korean food sucks and its well proven. thats why white people go mcdonald when they had to work at korea.

    • jin

      How is it proven that Korean food sucks? Because fried chicken is popular??? Because white people goes to Mcdonald instead of Korean restaurant? Are you mentally alright?

  • You Shouldn’t Do That

    In games like SimTown and SimCity you could only build like 5 types of shops and after your town/hotel got bigger you’d inevitably end up with the same types of stores next to each other. That’s how Seoul feels to me:
    Convenience Store/Chicken Place/Coffee Shop/Cosmetics Store/Noraebang/Cell Phone store/Paris Baguette(Tous Lee Jour)- Repeat. I’ve used to wonder how they all managed to stay afloat until I realized, they don’t.

    The cost of the chicken also includes the annual spokesperson calendar , one time Kyochon gave me a selfie stick as service.

  • elizabeth

    Cook your own chicken meal. It’s cheaper and healthier.

  • Notariety

    It appears from some of the comments that the chicken franchises can do without spending so much money on celebrity ads. This will definitely bring the cost of the chicken price down a notch where everyone will be pleased.

  • Uncle Owen

    In the area where I live there would be close to 50 chicken places in a 10 minute radius of my apartment. This is one dong in a mid-small sized city. How in God’s name could any one think its a good idea to keep opening them? But they do.
    As Homer Simpson said “They looked at an already crowded market and said Hey! Me too.”

    Did anyone else notice those imported confectionary stores pop up over the last 1 or 2 years? Bloomed like mushrooms. Its little wonder Koreans are becoming fat asses like every other developed country. Especially the kids.

  • Dave Park

    Buying raw chicken from the supermarket is not the same as buying chicken from a restaurant.

    If you think it’s unfair, you can always fry it yourself.

  • UserID01

    I don’t understand the drama. If you want fried chicken that badly, fry it yourself. It’s easy to do at home. And ffs, you’re living in the Information Age, if you don’t know how to do it, do a quick recipe search on the internet for a fried chicken recipe.

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