Korean Convenience Stores Targeting the MZ Generations


The convenience store chain, GS25, collaborated with the beer company Heineken. This is a pop-up store operated at GS25’s Hapjeong Premium Store in Seoul and Ingu Beach Store in Yangyang, Gangwon-do in collaboration with Heineken. [Image courtesy of GS25]

Jung Chaeyoon, Staff Writer

   Currently, Korean convenience stores are gaining popularity by continuously releasing new products in line with the consumption habits of the core consumer class of “MZ generations” (Millennial + Z generation).

   Convenience stores that used to stay in buying cigarettes, coke, and ramen, have evolved into a trendy consumption space for the MZ generations, and sales are being distributed to various new products, instead of a few steady sellers like ORION Choco Pie and NONGSHIM Banana Kick. 

   Convenience stores are a very accessible shopping platform for consumers and they have a fast trend following with at least 30-50 new products released each week. The differentiation of products in convenience stores are a quick reflection of the latest trends represented by the MZ generation’s taste consumption and the open-run phenomenon for hip places, hip brands and hip products, such as Café Knotted.

   The MZ, those in their 20s and 30s, are being targeted by all industries. This generation currently accounts for more than 30 percent of the South Korean population, and their consumer purchasing power accounts for more than 50 percent of the total sales due to the explosive growth of the digital consumption market. 

   For companies with low recognition within the MZ generations, the launch of collaboration products in convenience stores is a golden opportunity for marketing. Case in point, Seven Brow’s Gompyo recently achieved great success through their collaboration with the product Wheat Beer which has recently been expanding its position by maintaining the No. 1 spot in the convenience store beer category. It was previously less recognized by the MZ generations, whereas its popularity has significantly increased after this partnership.

   As it has proven an increase in sales, it appears that more companies want to plan collaboration products in convenience stores to raise recognizability from the MZ generations. The collaboration plans will be continued as unique collaborations easily attract the MZ’s attention and convenience stores can keep increasing their inflow and product sales through the launch of new products.

Gompyo Popcorn and Gompyo Wheat Beer. They are gaining a lot of popularity by using long-history brands that have built up trust. [Image courtesy of ChosunBiz]