The data reflects the growth of the coffee market, a government report showed.
According to the report by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and the Korea Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corp, the average coffee consumption, based on South Koreans aged over 20, has grown at an annual rate of 7 percent since 2012.
The size of the domestic coffee market reached 6.4 trillion won (US$5.68 billion) as of end-2016, up 30.6 percent from 4.9 trillion won tallied in 2014, the report said.
Of the figure, coffee franchises accounted for 62.5 percent last year, up from 53.8 percent two years earlier, reflecting that the coffee brands have led the market growth.
Big coffee chains, such as Starbucks and Paul Bassett Korea that attract customers with high-quality brewed drinks and a wide range of choices, have spurred smaller businesses on to launch their own brands, the report said.
The outbound shipments of coffee products, which include ready-to-drink coffee that usually come in as powdery or liquid forms in small packs, nearly doubled to $180.21 million in 2016 from $91.9 million in 2007. Their imports grew about 3.8 times to $204 million in the same period.
When it comes to exports, Russia was the biggest market for South Korea, accounting for 25.4 percent of the total shipments, due largely to the popularity of Korea-made powdery coffee sticks, followed by China with 17.3 percent and Greece with 11.6 percent.
Photo credit: WIkimedia Commons
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