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New Year’s resolutions boost health products

Jan 04,2018
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Left: Emart24's Organica salad bowls. Right: Energy drinks in a buy-two-get-one promotion at Emart24 through January. [EMART24]
It’s the season of resolutions, and retailers are ramping up efforts to promote products that purport to help people lose weight, kick bad habits and stay healthy.

More than six in 10 adults that participated in a survey by Job Korea, a job listing website, said weight loss was their No. 1 goal for the new year.

Another 31.9 percent said exercise was their focus, proving that a fit body continues to be the perennial resolution that no one seems able to fulfill year after year.

GS Supermarket is offering discounts of up to 38 percent on seafood products including freshwater eel, abalone and octopus from Wednesday to next Tuesday.

These ingredients are said to give the body a lot of energy and are typically more popular in summer thanks to a Korean culture of people enduring the sweltering heat with hot, high-nutrition dishes.

“The promotion challenges the perception that high-virility food is for the summer and sells better during that season,” said Kim Chang-rok, a seafood merchandiser at GS Retail.

He added that freshwater eel, abalone and octopus are better to consume in winter because they provide the body with nutrients to survive the winter.

Convenience store chain Emart24 is throwing sales on health-related products throughout the month of January. It is emphasizing three things that customers should avoid in 2018 - high-fat diets, smoking and fatigue - and has organized promotions that correspond to each.

For every Organica salad bowl sold at Emart24, the store will throw in one free bottle of black tea. Fifteen energy drinks, including Bacchus-D Cafe and Vita 500 Fresh, are being sold on buy-two-get-one promotions.

For smokers, 14 types of mints and gum will be sold for two-plus-one.

At Lotte Mart, health supplements are the creme de la creme. A bottle of 28 propolis, or bee glue, capsules will go for 3,000 won ($2.82). Fourteen-capsule bottles of milk thistle and lutein supplements will also sell for 3,000 won, while other options include Omega 3 and multivitamins.

The supplements typically come in larger packs of 50 to several hundreds, making them expensive items, according to the company.

“A lot of people purchase large bottles of health supplements for the new year but keep them stocked and untouched after a few weeks,” a Lotte Mart spokesman said.

“The intent is to offer a lighter opportunity for consumers to try many kinds and find what suits them better.”


BY SONG KYOUNG-SON [song.kyoungson@joongang.co.kr]