Updated May. 27, 2014 08:53
Paprika surpassed potato and sweet potato in sales rankings of vegetables for the first time ever in Korea last year.
According to an analysis of vegetable sales over the past five years conducted by Lotte Mart, paprika (12.9 percent) ranked second after onion (16.1 percent). They were trailed by sweet potato (10.4 percent), cucumber (9.6 percent), and potato (9.5 percent). Until as recently as 2010, paprika only ranked eighth in sales volume among the vegetables. However, demand for paprika gradually increased, pushing up its sales volume to No. 2 last year. This year, paprika with share of 12.9 percent is closely trailing onion (13.2 percent), which has always been atop in sales over the past five years.
Analysts say that paprika is gaining popularity because more people seek low-calorie eatery due to diet campaigns and other reasons. Paprika contains 20 Cal of calorie per 100 grams, which is about one third that of potato (55 Cal) and one sixth that of sweet potato (128 Cal). Paprika is a highly nutritional vegetable that also contains vitamin C content amounting to more than eight times that of orange per 100 grams.
Paprika tends to gain more popularity in summer as it contains high moisture and high sugar content. Sales are expected to rise further, said Choi In-seok, head of the vegetable team at Lotte Mart.