SEOUL, South Korea – Opening a coffee shop is one of the most popular businesses being pursued by young South Koreans in recent years, data showed Wednesday, in a sign of growing coffee consumption in the Northeast Asian country.
The number of coffee shops run by people aged between 15 and 34 stood at 5,000 last year, compared to 2,000 in 2011, according to data compiled by the National Tax Service (NTS).
The data underscores the growing popularity of coffee among South Koreans. Last year, South Koreans drank 377 cups of coffee per person on average.
The rate coffee consumption for South Koreans over 20, has grown by an annual rate of 7 percent since 2012, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and the Korea Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corp.
The size of the domestic coffee market reached 6.4 trillion won (US$ 5.68 billion) as of the end of 2016, up 30.6 percent from the 4.9 trillion won tallied in 2014.
Last year, the number of businesses started by people aged between 15 and 34 came to 226,000, down 2,400 from 2011, according to data compiled by the NTS.
Among them, the number of businesses started by young men stood at 128,000 and the rest were set up by young women.
The data showed that the most favored business among young people was selling goods online without offline retail shops. The number of online retail shops run by young people came to 37,000 last year, up 17 percent from 2011.