Cast your minds back to 2016 – it already feels so long ago! But in November of last year our resident Teisseire expert Alex packed up and flew out to the capital of South Korea for a whirlwind 3-day tour of Seoul for its annual Café Show. Here are a few images of the stand we designed for this show & future exhibitions in Asia come to life:
However, we couldn’t send her all that way without doing some snooping into what’s on trend in South Korea. Below are a few of the insights she picked up during her time out there:
1. Drinks trends – a little on the Sweet side
Sweet, fruity serves were the stars of the show at the café show with drinks ranging from cocktails through to coffees flavoured with fresh fruit or sweet syrups. Topped with whipped cream, the serves also look incredibly sweet. There is also a fashion for sweetness in the other sense – an overload of cutesy cartoons, including Hello Kitty themed cafés and food inspired by these iconic characters. Whilst one could assume that these are targeting a younger generation, the likes of Kakao & Friends are huge in Seoul and appeal massively to adults also.
2. Keeping it healthy & organic
Although this seems a stark contrast to our first piece of insight, the movement towards fresh, organic drinks has taken just as much of a hold of the market in Seoul as it has here in London. Whilst this could be put down to the fact that Asia is the home of green tea and matcha (and boy, did Alex see a lot of that), that would be a narrow explanation for this movement. There was an abundance of freshly blended drinks such as smoothies, but also a large amount of organic juices (aptly branded ‘Healthy Juice’ amongst others) boasting their health-boosting and organic attributes.
3. A penchant for everything French
It’s no surprise that the French are world renowned for their style, grace and cuisine – and this reputation is highlighted in Seoul. Some of the best cafes in town had French names, and served ‘authentic’ French patisseries. This craze doesn’t seem to be dying down for a while.
These trends are not a million miles away from those we have seen here in London over the last few years, however the unique angle that South Korean retailers take on these themes make them even more interesting.