South Korean companies are targeting single people as the next untapped consumer market. Julie Noce reports.
From single servings of wine, to ready-to-eat meals for one, unmarried people in South Korea represent the newest untapped consumer market. With one-person households making up more than 25 percent of the population, more and more companies are offering customized products for people who live alone. For consumers like 35 year old Kang Hee-young- one isn't the loneliest number. (SOUNDBITE) (Korean) 35-YEAR-OLD KANG HEE-YOUNG, SAYING: "Whenever I think about getting married, I feel suffocated wondering whether I can manage it well. I'm pretty much satisfied with my current life." That's good news for companies like Samsung who are getting in on the trend with their "slim style" refrigerator that holds enough food for one. Here a small Daewoo washing machine is advertised as "recommended for singles". Analysts say the sector is growing. (SOUNDBITE) (Korean) SENIOR ANALYST AT KYOBO SECURITIES, JEONG SEONG-HOON, SAYING: "While the consumer goods market in South Korea is in a slump, the market for singles has rapidly increased, especially the market of processed food for singles, which has grown 15 percent, whereas the domestic consumer market has grown 5 percent. We expect the single market to grow more in the years to come." With the spending power of single-person households expected to reach 113 billion dollars by 2020, these golden singles might be the country's economic hole in one