More and more customers are choosing bread over rice as the wheat trend grows in South Korea. Julie Noce reports.
A bakery in Seoul is buzzing with customers surveying the delicacies. From muffins and tarts to bread and bagels- more and more South Koreans are choosing wheat over rice. For this working mom, it's all about convenience. (SOUNDBITE) (Korean) 34-YEAR-OLD SOUTH KOREAN WORKING MOTHER, KIM GEON-HUI, SAYING: "I am very busy in the morning because I have to drop my children off at kindergarten. So, I have bread for breakfast. And I often meet up with my friends at a cafe and enjoy bread with coffee over the weekends." South Koreans are at the forefront of an Asia-wide trend that has seen wheat demand climb nearly twice the rate of rice consumption since 2008. SPC Group, which runs Asia's biggest bread making plant, says the local bread market has grown at an average of about 15 percent per year since 2005. Still not everyone is on board the wheat express. For older South Koreans, there's no substitute for the old favourite. My kids usually skip breakfast or eat bread or fruit, this 72-year-old man said. But people my age eat rice for every meal. South Korea's rice consumption hit a record low last year of about 65 kilograms per person.