Koreans order more spicy food when coronavirus infections rise

Customers wait for LG Electronics' CLOi Chefbot to cook noodles at a VIPS restaurant in western Seoul, Nov. 22. / Courtesy of LG Electronics. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

SEOUL, Nov 12, 2020, Korea Bizwire. Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, spikes in coronavirus infections seem to have led to a subsequent jump in orders for spicy food, Korea Bizwire reported.

CJ Logistics Corp., the logistics unit of South Korea’s food and entertainment conglomerate CJ, conducted a study on deliveries of spicy food such as”tteokbokki” — Korean rice cakes in a spicy sauce – made between February and September, revealing that the number of spicy food deliveries spiked in March and late August, when mass infections of the coronavirus took place.

In March, when the daily number of infections reached as many as 851 people, deliveries of spicy food also peaked.

In March only, spicy food deliveries were 168.4 percent higher than last year.

Spicy food deliveries jumped when the number of infections began to rise in late August.

In August only, spicy food deliveries were 40.6 percent higher than last year.

The total number of spicy food deliveries made between February and August surpassed last year’s average.

“Consumers seem to have chosen spicy food to fend off fears of the pandemic,” CJ Logistics said.

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