CU said in a statement on March 10 that the store chain released two Halal meal kits, "Makhani Chicken Curry Rice" and "Triple Chicken Platter." The chicken curry rice menu includes a tandoori chicken rice dish smothered in Makhani sauce. The chicken platter menu consists of fried chicken, fried shrimps and shrimp chips served with three different kinds of sauces.
"Unlike the market perception which expects that Muslim customers will mainly buy the Halal-certified menus, we decided to release them because the curiosity and interest of ordinary consumers on Halal food are very high," CU said.
According to the Korea Muslim Federation, there were more than 60,000 Muslims in South Korea as of 2018. According to the state-run Korea Tourism Organization, South Korea has more than 200 Muslim-friendly restaurants that passed a government certification system. Muslims living in South Korea choose to eat completely vegan menus at restaurants or cook at home using Halal-certified ingredients when they cannot find a Muslim-friendly restaurant.
Meal kits that only need to be heated before eating became popular in South Korea in 2020 when people chose to eat at home instead of visiting crowded places such as restaurants and bars to avoid COVID-19 infection. According to SSG.com, the online shopping mall wing of South Korea's retail giant Shinsegae, sales of meal kits increased by 196.3 percent on-year in 2020. The online shopping mall opened a dedicated section for a lineup of some 200 meal kit menus in March to attract more customers.
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