Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Home Table Deco Fair 2019 – Premium Home Styling Exhibition

Home Table Deco Fair 2019 – Premium Home Styling Exhibition
December 12th to 15th, 2019
Location of event: Korea Seoul COEX

Exhibits: Home living & deco, kitchen & tableware, Anniversary, lifestyle & culture, home appliances

Organized by the Reed K. Fairs Ltd. the exhibition provided the latest premium home styling trends with over 200,000 visitors at all four exhibitions across Korea, Seoul, Busan, Daegu and Jeju. Attracting the greatest number of professionals, the show is known to be effective in both B2B and B2C.  

Exhibition Overview

The opening of the Home Table Deco Fair 2019 was quite crowded even after lunch hours. As mentioned above, the exhibition was attracting the business sector and also consumers.

The show was divided into two halls and sections. Hall C was focused on home decoration which includes paints, art, kitchenware, furniture, pottery and all different products. Hall D was focused more on interior design which provided not only various interior design concepts but also a better taste to the products which were included in the design.

Personally, Hall D which had quality designed booths with style was more interesting. As most of the booths were designed by interior designers, they stood out compared to other exhibitions in Korea.    

The HTDF also had a collaboration event called the Creator’s Hotel with a Korean online accommodation service (platform) company Yanolja. This event was a large promotion of Yanolja’s services, opportunities and partnered designers.

However, compared to Hall D, Hall C visitors showed more interested in the products. As much as the theme was decoration, it would be hard to categorize products by industry sectors.


With the HTDF subtitle as Premium Home Styling Exhibition, Hall C was full of interesting luxury products luring people to the displays. Given the diverse products, it would be difficult to categorize the industry that includes pottery, kitchenware, furniture and arts.

One of the most interesting booths provided a rental system for art. The service provides different types of paintings that match the interior of the house.

Overall the exhibition targets were willing to spend extra on design and appearance usually with more wealth or people who were in the industry. Hall D’s visitors seemed to be more B2B whereas Hall C was more focused on consumer-based visitors.

An interesting part of the home decoration market is the interior and remodeling sectors. For more information regarding the remodeling and interior sector please click here

If you would like to identify and capitalize on business opportunities in Korea, let IRC Guide your Way!  www.ircconsultingkorea.comJacob at lsh@ircconsultingkorea.com

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

The 35th BeFe Baby Fair (2019)

The 35th BeFe Baby Fair
February 21st ~ 24th, 2019
Coex Hall A & B

2018 Exhibitions Results
180+ exhibitors
80,639 visitors

Organized by BeFe inc. biannually, the first BeFe Baby Fair was showed in 2000. The BeFe baby fair is the first baby product related exhibition in Asia. This exhibition’s objective is to provide information for pre-mothers and childing to mothers while supporting and promoting the baby-related product industry. About 40% of the exhibitors are from overseas. In 2018, more than 180 exhibitors with over 80,000 visitors attended the show.

Exhibits:  Antenatal related goods, Pre-mother related goods, Pre-mother related services, Childbirth related goods, Baby related service, Safety related goods, Baby related goods, Baby pre-education, Internet Service, Intelligence development program.

Market information:

The baby supplies market includes baby food, diapers, cloth, snacks, character toys and other products targeted for babies. In 2009 the market size was KRW 1.2 trillion which increased to KRW 2.4 trillion in 2015. One reason for the industry growth is parents’ high expectations increasing baby product spending. In 2009, the average cost per baby was KRW 2.7 million and jumped up to KRW 5.48 million in 2015.

The Baby supplies industry has been growing even though the decrease in birth rates. The Baby supplies were selected as one of the top consumer products in 2016 by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. The development caused interest to the industry which also results in complaints, which for the baby products specified by safety and price issues.

Supplier's marketing methods, which educates consumers that expensive is better, cause price increase. The clarity of distribution also causes the price to increase. Consumer factors of premium baby product development are created by fewer children per family, two-earning couples, average increase income, higher marriage age and non-objective view. For example, the primary aspect of choosing diapers was based on ‘recommendation of a friend or family’ (49%) and ‘parenting blogs’ (24%).

Baby supplies were one of the top categories for direct oversea purchase which 31.8% felt the price difference when the average was 27.7%. However, from 2017 to 2018 stroller/car seat decreased by 37% while dippers 31% and toys dropped 11% even though it was 8th in industries purchased.


The baby carriages and the car seats drew most of the attention with their large booth and number of employees explaining and supporting the visitors. The trend was not only safe but also the convenience of the product. 

There were also numbers of consumables booths displaying healthy snacks, diapers, clothes and supporting cloth for the pre-mothers. The consumables were mostly focused on organic and safety, as they are products that will actually be digested or touching the baby directly. 

Lastly, as much as the Korean culture priorities education-related booths also had parents in line to prepare their children’s future.

The overall exhibition seems to be successful, but we felt the exhibition was focused on B2C rather than B2B. We believe, because of the fact that it was a weekday with more consumer visitors and minimal buyers or others searching for business. Events were provided for foreign companies to obtain opportunities to meet companies and the other way around. The exhibition was divided into a few different sectors, but the sectors did not have a distinguishable difference to separate them.

If you would like to identify and capitalize on business opportunities in Korea, let IRC Guide your Way!  www.ircconsultingkorea.comJacob at lsh@ircconsultingkorea.com

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Food Delivery - Restaurant to your door

The Food Delivery Industry in Korea

Food delivery services have been a growing market globally but Korea had this culture for a long time. Before it became popular internationally, visitors to Korea were often intrigued to observe all kinds of food delivered to the door.

Another Korean culture (or prejudice) is that Koreans are always in a hurry and they want everything to be fast. The ‘balle balle (fast fast) culture has contributed to the Korean economy to grow fast and build up to what Korea is now. Moreover, the balle balle culture is believed to be one of the factors which created the need for fast delivery service.

There is a record in 1768 diary of Chosun scholar Hwang, Yun-Suk, that he ordered ‘Naengmyeon' (a cold noodle dish)’ after he took the Korean civil service examinations.

Prior to independence from Japan in 1945, there are records of delivery of Guk-Bap (soup with rice), Nangmyeon and other foods. After independence as Chinese restaurants started to gain popularity, Chinese food became the top delivery food. Starting from the 1980s, franchise companies providing fried chicken and pizza started delivery services and gradually the number of delivery products increased. Now it is possible to order ice cream, gourmet menus and even sushi. The first country where McDonald's delivered fast food was Korea.

The method of delivery has changed along with the types of food.  During the early days, women would balance a large tray on their heads and deliver food on foot. However, this limited the range for delivery. As motorcycles became affordable people started to use motorcycles for most deliveries. Chinese food was the most popular delivered food and, a motorcycle with a metal box ('chul ga bang') became the symbol of food delivery. As the delivery evolved to franchise foods and the development of technology, chul ga bangs are now hard to see. Now motorcycles have insulated storage boxes to keep food from getting cold and to protect it so it does not spill in transit.

As the methods of delivery changed, the structure of the delivery service has changed too. Initially, restaurant owners delivered their food or hire staff to deliver their meals. However, this involved a risk for the restaurant owners. Motorcycle riders had to be paid whether they were busy or not and furthermore, they were in danger of being injured during delivery. In response, independent delivery companies were introduced in the market starting around 2010 revolutionizing the delivery industry.

The smartphone app has also transformed the industry.  In the past, the customer had to call the restaurant and order by phone.  Now, the customer can view the menu, order and pay in just a few clicks. With an app, like uber, food can be delivered efficiently based on the location of the restaurant and the consumers. Moreover, as these app platform services developed the app does not only provide delivery but they also provided promotions and consulting for the restaurant.
With the massive growth of delivery service platforms, not only food but virtually anything can be purchased and delivered quickly and efficiently using smartphone technology. 

If you would like to identify and capitalize on business opportunities in Korea, let IRC Guide your Way!  www.ircconsultingkorea.comJacob at lsh@ircconsultingkorea.com

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

IoT Korea Exhibition 2019

IoT Korea Exhibition 2019  
October 23th ~ 25th, 2019 Coex

Key Exhibits:

5G, IoT Devices, Network, Platform Technology and Products.
IoT-Based Systems, Service Security Technology and Products
IoT Devices, Platform, Wired/Wireless Network Technology and Products
IoT, AI and Blockchain Convergence Services

Exhibition Overview

Organized by the IoT Korea Intelligent Association and hosted by the Ministry of Science and ICT, 193 companies exhibited and 21,094 visitors attended the show In 2018 with more expected in 2019.

Compared to last year when a number of conglomerates displayed their products, this year only SKT organized a large booth. The fact that there was a major electronics exhibition the week before might have depressed the exhibitors list. The other large booths were organized by government agencies.

The government agency booths provided general information related to the IoT market and also introduced companies that were within the IoT market directly related to the agency.


The most interesting fact about the IoT exhibition was that it could be applied to various industries. Detecting systems can be used for security, manufacturing, hospitals, automotive and other industries. Similar to the detecting systems, AI security and network technology can be used in multiple industries and if the technologies are combined together it would be difficult to find an industry which cannot profit from applying them


The Ministry of Science and ICT and the National IT Industry Promotion Agency created a booth focusing on the IoT Healthcare industry. With these targeted booths, we believe that the boundaries of industries are changing.


The IoT industry has been growing rapidly and with the 5G in process experts believe that the growth will increase. The total IoT sales were reported US$7.3 billion in 2018 and the average yearly growth for the past four years rated 22.6%.

Source: Newsis.com

With new services such as smart city, smart office and smart factories,  the need for IoT products and systems are growing. In 2018, 2204 companies were registered as IoT companies and the service sectors accounted for more than half of the market.

If you would like to identify and capitalize on business opportunities in Korea, let IRC Guide your Way!  www.ircconsultingkorea.com,

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Happy New Year!

The 'Year of the Rat' dawns on 25 January 2020. The rat is the first year of the 12-year zodiac calendar and this year is the 'metal rat' and is the 'yang' of the 'yin and yang' balance. In Western culture, the rat has a largely negative image. In Korea too, rats were considered sinister creatures that spread disease and stole food. However, rats are strongly associated with material success such as wealth and other luxuries in life.

People born in the year of the rat are optimistic and energetic, clever, quick thinkers, successful and sociable. They are good at adapting to the environment and react positively to changes. 

A Rat Year is a time of hard work, activity, and renewal. This is a good year to make a fresh start or launch a new project in Korea. IRC will partner with you like 'yin and yang' to be successful. Let IRC 'Guide Your Way" in 2020.