Online food delivery market grows 79 pct in 2020 amid pandemic

SEOUL, March 2 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s online food delivery service market spiked nearly 80 percent in 2020 from a year earlier amid the coronavirus pandemic, government data showed Tuesday.

The value of online food service transactions came to 17.4 trillion won (US$15.5 billion) last year, up 78.6 percent from the previous year, according to the data from Statistics Korea.

It was nearly 6.4 times the 2.7 trillion won recorded in 2017, when the statistical agency started tracking related data.

Of the total transactions, 95 percent, or 16.5 trillion won, were mobile orders, with the remainder involving internet deals.

Last year’s surge was attributed to the coronavirus outbreak that forced people to abstain from dining out and resort more to delivered foods.

Industry sources said the local online food delivery service market will likely expand further down the road due to growing demand from consumers and virus-induced restrictions on the business hours of restaurants.

South Korea has been gripped by the novel coronavirus outbreak since January last year, with the number of infections exceeding 90,000 and the death toll reaching slightly over 1,600.