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Trend of Chuseok gift sets in time for one-year anniversary of Kim Young-ran Act Updated: 2017-10-02 12:54:10 KST

Fruits packed in boxes, canned spam gift sets, cooking oil, and mixed nuts.
They're all out on display for Chuseok, Korea's Thanksgiving holiday.
But what's different about this year's holiday, is that it also marks one year since the Improper Solicitation and Graft Act, better known as the 'Kim Young-ran Act,' was implemented. Aimed at preventing bribery, the act limits the amount of money that can be spent on gifts for civil servants, those working in the media and in education.
It generally follows the '3-5-10 rule', which states only 30,000 won, or about 26 U.S. dollars, can be spent when treating someone to a meal, 50,000 won or 45 dollars can be spent on gifts, and 100,000 won or roughly 88 dollars given as a monetary gift for occasions such as weddings or funerals.

This year, lots of gift sets, such as this box of mixed nuts, are priced at just under 50,000 won to give consumers more options while still abiding by the Kim Young-ran act.

"A lot of people are looking for gifts costing less than 30 dollars. Chuseok's just around the corner so we're also offering products that don't go over 50-thousand won or 45 dollars."

According to data analyzed by the Ministry of Agriculture, while sales of gifts priced between 30,000 and 50,000 won have increased this year compared to last year, gifts ranging from 50,000 to 100,000 won fell drastically by 33 percent on-year.
The gift term mentioned the most online for this year's holiday was 'baked goods', while gifts that had been staples for special occasions, such as Korean red ginseng or Korean beef, decreased in the frequency they were mentioned.

"I know the Kim Young-ran Act doesn't apply to gifts between family members so I'm not too worried about the price. I'm looking to spend between 50,000 to 100,000 won."

"I'm looking at a gift that is affordable but doesn't look cheap, like ham or cooking oil sets. I'll spend within the 50-thousand won range.

The general trend for goods over the last couple of years has been 'cost-effectiveness,' but now with the Kim Yong-ran Act in place, this practice of buying reasonably priced goods seems to be more common.

Lee Jeong-yeon, Arirang News

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