Every year, Kim Nu-ri prepares a Charye table to offer her ancestors food like dried fish, meat and fresh fruits
But this year, she is having a hard time deciding what groceries to buy for the occasion.
"Food prices seem more expensive than last year. Despite my family's tradition, I'm thinking of minimizing the food for the Charye table this year."
Prices of food and ingredients are raising concerns among consumers ahead of Seollal.
According to Seoul Agro-Fisheries and Food Corporation, beef prices increased around 8.6 percent on-year in 2022 at large supermarkets.
Prices of pork soared 33.5 percent, while rice cakes needed for the traditional Lunar New Year dish tteok-guk rose almost 29 percent.
Frozen pollock and napa cabbage, jumped 16.6 percent, and 64.5 percent, respectively.
"Last year in the same period, you could buy about 720 grams of pork
with 10-thousand Korean won.
But this year,you can now only buy 520 grams."
The 36 essential items for a Charye table come to around 210-thousand Korean won or 175 U.S. dollars at a traditional market.
That's up 1.7 percent on-year.
At large supermarkets they cost around 225 dollars, an increase of 2.6 percent.
"Usually it's cheaper to buy Seollal food ingredients at traditional markets, but due to ongoing inflation, prices here are also on the rise."
"I'm worried that sales keep falling. Some people just put down the food and walk away after asking me the price."
Experts say uncertain climate conditions and supply chain issues due to the pandemic are causing the inflation.
"Consumer prices have been continuously rising since last year. As bottlenecks in the global supply chain continue,the price hikes will likely remain throughout the year due to the nation's high trade dependency.
In a bid to tame this inflation ahead of the biggest holiday the government is increasing supplies of the most popular staples including beef and fruit.
Some local governments are also planning to issue discount coupons that can be used at local markets.
Lee Rae-hyun, Arirang News.