Bridging Culture Worldwide Releases South Korean Post COVID-19 Food and Beverage Industry Survey

First of its kind study highlights Korea’s F&B current and future growth drivers

Seoul, South Korea  (  Bridging Culture Worldwide has announced the results of a targeted bilingual survey of how South Korean companies view opportunities for F&B growth and expansion in 2020 and 2021.

The first of its kind survey was conducted by BCW and Tierra Advisors – both advocates, long engaged in South Korean business and market entry.

BCW Founder and CEO Don Southerton noted, “The study was conducted to gauge the overall market mood and more specifically future F&B growth plans in response to the uncertainty and disruption of COVID-19.”

As background, BCW and Tierra point out that unlike most of the world, Korea appears to have reined in the outbreak without some of the strict lockdown strategies deployed by many other countries in the world.

Still, the economy and businesses like restaurants and coffee shops have suffered. Although Korea never experienced mandated widespread closures, Koreans pro-actively stayed away from eateries and Starbucks. The restaurants did remain open, eagerly waiting for customers who seldom came.

Fast forward, Korea’s everyday life today is now resembling something closer to normal. There are lines outside restaurants during lunchtime; malls are bustling, and the streets are busier. As a positive indicator, major Korean food brands like SPC have also recently announced plans to open new locations as well as add additional western fast-casual brands.

Study highlights include:

  • A 60 percent majority shared an overall positive feeling toward the F&B market for 2020-21.
  • Nearly 40 percent responded Highly Likely or Likely to expand their business in 2020-21. In contrast, only 9.7 percent responded Very Unlikely.
  • Similarly, in a wide range of choices, a high number of those surveyed anticipated adding a brand or product in the same time frame.
  • Among F&B concepts, ‘Fast Casual’ tops the list in the survey when looking ahead at where the industry sees the most opportunity for growth in the local Korea market.
  • In open questions polled the top F&B criteria for 2020 -2021 food brands included delivery and take-out service, healthy food options, and a value-added menu offering both high quality and affordable pricing.
Bridging Culture Worldwide Releases South Korean Post COVID-19 Food and Beverage Industry Survey
Top picks for new brands for 2020-2021. Fast Casual tops the list.

For more information on the study, please contact:

Don Southerton

Hyunjin Koo

About BCW

Led by Founder and CEO Don Southerton, a long time C-suite advisor, we provide market entry strategy, consulting and media/government relations to both western firms as well as Korea-based global businesses. Over the past decades we have supported Fortune 500 firms including the Hyundai Motor Company, the Hancom Group, Yum Brands, Bristol Myers Squibb, the SK Group, and media giants Interpublic, Omnicom, and Innocean Worldwide – to name but a few.

Southerton writes and speaks frequently on business related topics and the Korean Food and Beverage sector contributing to The Economist, the BBC, CNN Fortune, Korea Times, Yonhap, Korea Herald, tbs eFM, Wall Street Journal, Branding in Asia, and Forbes. You can visit us on the web at

About Tierra Advisors

Tierra Advisors is an international business development and marketing firm specializing in the U.S. and Korean markets. Its main focus is helping small or family owned companies as well as not-for-profit and social impact organizations to grow their presence and make an impact internationally.

Tierra Advisors specializes in:
International Business Development (U.S. & Korea), Real Estate Investment and Development Consulting, Smart & Sustainable City Solutions, Arts & Entertainment Management, Not-for-profit Organizations, International Marketing and Communications, Project Management and Operations. To learn more, visit

Don Southerton
Bridging Culture Worldwide