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Life & Info: Korean companies roll out new products due to early summer have wave Updated: 2019-05-24 07:45:01 KST

Time now for our "Life & Info" segment, where we focus on information useful for your everyday life.
Today we are going to talk about how South Korean businesses are reacting to the early summer weather by introducing new productsand how consumers can beat the heat.
Our Ko Roon-hee is in the studio with us.
Roon-hee, start off by telling us about the temperatures we've been seeing over the past week it was really hot yesterday and it's going to be even hotter today.

Yes Mark, the highest temperature in Seoul hit almost 30 degrees Celsius on Thursday and it looks like the temperature is going to be hotter this monthcompared to the same month last year.
Let's take a look at a graph
As you can see, temperatures during the last seven days were generally higher this year compared to 2018.
And because of this, the nation's distribution industry has already experienced a sales bump in summer-related items.
Let's take a look at an example of Emart, one of the largest retailers in Korea.
During the first 16 days of May, its sales of air conditioners jumped by more than 60-percent.

And it was same for other items like watermelons and ice cream.
I visited one of the stores, and lots of people were buying such items to prepare for the summer.
The retailer has prepared various promotionsto quickly respond to people buying summer items earlier than last year.
I talked to a customer and a manager about the matter.

"It's getting hot so I came here to buy a watermelon for my family. It's good to see some promotions going on."

"A lot of customers are buying air conditioners these days. I think its because they are purchasing the products in advance before it gets too hot like last summer."

So major retailers are experiencing sales growth already due to the early heat wave.
Other than air conditioners, tell us more about some unique products we can buy to escape the stifling heat.

The first category I want to mention is clothing.
Korea's summer weather is not only hot but very humidwhich can cause us to pour with sweat.

Some clothing companies have introduced new products that have special functions in terms of keeping you looking and feeling fresh.
One brand that makes sports garments came up with a special fabric that provides a cool feeling when the fabric comes into contact with moisture such as sweat.
Their new products include stylish polo shirts and mesh jeans.
A manager at this company shared their marketing plans for the future.

"We are planning to hold events so we can meet potential customers face-to-face. Also, we plan to work with YouTube creators involved in outdoor activitiesso they can share their positive experiences after wearing our clothes."

I've never heard of mesh jeansbut it might grab myself a pair.
And it's interesting how he said they are working with YouTube creators, it shows you how marketing and the use of different forms of media is changing quickly.
Any other items you wanna tell us about?

You cannot discuss summer in Korea without foodand today, I want to introduce you to some spicy, cold noodles released this summer.
Major ramen companies have introduced new 'bibimmyeon' products with seaweed.
Some might ask, why seaweed, well it isn't just because it adds chewiness to the noodlesbut its because many consumers want to add some kind of healthy elements to their snack.
But as you can see, there are many choicesand I met with one YouTube creators who can help you find one that suits your tastes.

Bae Myoung-kuk's YouTube channel is about reviewing foodand when new products hit the shelves, he tries to be the first one to try them out.
Subscribers to his channel find out the specifics about the cold noodles such as the price, where you can buy them, and his personal review.
Because you have so many options to choose from, it can be helpful to find YouTubers like him and see what products suit you best before you spend your hard-earned money.

"I try to explain the taste of the sauce or the quality of the noodles in detail. Because I also touch on the spiciness of the products, viewers can choose the products they want accordingly."

The noodles look tempting.. I might jump on YouTube later to see some more reviews.
So you have talked about how the distribution industry is experiencing sales growth, and consumers have more options.
But what does the 'heat' the hot weather mean in terms of the overall economy?

Well, Mark.
I talked to an expert in the field, and it turns out there are both good and bad sides.
Let's take a listen.

"According to a report, consumption increases by 0.5 percent if the temperature increases by 1 degree Celsius. Nevertheless, overall labor productivity decreases if the scorching heat continues for a long time."

Well, it seems like there are both positives and negativesbut its good to see consumers have plenty of choice.
And let's hope it isn't super, super hot this summer. We don't want to a repeat of last year when we had some days topping 40 degrees Celsius.
Roon-hee, thanks for your report.

Thanks for having me.
Reporter : krh@arirang.com
KOGL : Korea Open Government License
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