Pork is the best-selling meat in Korea, accounting for nearly half of per-capita meat consumption of 33kg a year. A major contributor is the Koreans love for samgyeopsal (grilled bacon strips): “delicious and has the right blend of fat and protein, fit for the Korean culture of roasting meat”.
Even though it is believed that Koreans are the biggest consumers of pork bellies in the world and the demand for pork has shown a steady rise over recent years, domestic pig farming has decreased. The pork market in Korea is now relying heavily on imports from more than 15 nations. According to the Korea Meat Trade Association, 2006 imports of pork bellies reached an all-time high of 84,000 mt, double the volume from five years ago.
Since 2004, we’ve advertised other parts of pork on television, radio and print media under a ‘healthy trio’ concept,” said government officials. However, other parts of pork are not in demand. Prices may be going up, however, demand is not affected and imports are expected continue increasing this year.