Koreans consume 1.2 million chickens a day. That includes Seowon University students. In the neighborhood next to Seowon University, there are about 10 chicken and beer restaurants. Chicken is necessary for our campus life and fried chicken is the number one favorite.
According to the Korea Broiler Council (K.B.C), Koreans consume around 17 kg more chicken per person than 10 years ago. Jeong Byeong-hak, head of K.B.C said “the chicken consumption of Korea is still only 56% than the OECD average.” The Chicken market of Korea is promising but there is a small problem. A typical order of Fried chicken costs more than 20,000 won. Prices are high, but when customers open the box they see smaller legs, smaller thighs, and smaller wings. Increasing demand forces Korea to import chickens and puts pressure on domestic chicken farmers.
When Korean farmers raise more chickens in the same space, some are exposed to Avian Influenza (AI). To solve the problem, they needed chickens that would grow faster and be strong against AI. Samgye is a new strain of Korean chicken. Samgye has a shorter growing period and lower production cost. Production of Samgye brand has doubled from 64 to 150 million chickens in just a few years. As the name suggests, it is a smaller chicken which is perfect for samgyetang.
However, fried chicken restaurants started using Samgye chickens to meet strong demand. Many use a “2 for 1 promotion, which is possible because of its smaller size and affordable price.” The chickens are smaller, but they are raised in Korea. That’s better for Korean chicken farmers and Korean chicken consumers. The next time you bite into a smaller chicken wing, just remember that it did not have to travel far for you.