South Korean retailers targeting growing singles demographic

Global Business

South Korea is the world’s fastest aging country, and more young people are choosing to stay single and live alone. Despite the country’s weak consumer demand, these so-called “golden singles” have no fear of spending. Companies have also taken notice and they’re developing products to keep up with demographic changes. CCTV America’s U-Jean Jung reported this story from Seoul.

South Korean retailers targeting growing singles demographic

South Korean retailers targeting growing singles demographic

South Korea is the world's fastest aging country, and more young people are choosing to stay single and live alone. Despite the country's weak consumer demand, these so-called "golden singles" have no fear of spending. Companies have also taken notice and they're developing products to keep up with demographic changes. CCTV America's U-Jean Jung reported this story from Seoul.

In a country where getting married and raising a family is seen as a priority, people like Kang Hee-Young are bucking the historical trend.

“Married people around me have to worry about things like raising children and spending time with family. But I get to spend that money solely on myself, and I can enjoy different hobbies,” Kang said.

Kang said the single lifestyle is a rational choice, because she can invest all of her time and money on herself. The 35-year-old makeup artist lavishes most of her $2,700 monthly income on clothes, golf, and raising her cat, Shasha.

Statistics showed that one-person homes like Kang’s consume more per person than two-person households in South Korea.

This is music to the ears of the companies that are targeting ‘golden singles’ buyers with solo-friendly home appliances.

Samsung Electronics launched a “slim style” refrigerator in August that is narrower and taller than typical refrigerators, and are just right for someone living alone.

Retailers are showcasing smaller portions of wine, smaller ketchup bottles, and even smaller rice cookers. Even the country’s largest food manufacturer plans to expand its marketing capture this demographic.

One-person households make up a quarter of South Korea’s population, and that figure is expected to rise to a third of the population in less than 20 years.

“While South Korea’s consumer market grew only five percent, the processed foods market for singles has grown by 15 percent. We expect the singles market to grow rapidly in the years to come,” Jeong Seong-Hoon, the senior analyst from Kyobo Securities, said.

Kang doesn’t plan to live alone forever. But for now, she said she wanted to enjoy the freedom to spend as she pleases.