According to World Health Organization (WHO), the last two decades has seen a sharp rise in the number of people around the world who are obese and overweight, with more than 1 billion adults being overweight and at least 300 million of them being obese. Body mass index (BMI), provided with the standard measurement, is used to indicate if one is overweight or obese. As such, a person having a BMI exceeding 25 kg/m2 is categorized as being overweight, and those having a BMI of over 30 kg/m2 are considered obese.
WHO indicates that obesity is not restricted to industrialized societies, as the increase is often faster in developing countries than in the developed ones. This is because, as incomes escalate and populations become more modernized, there is often a decrease in physical activities and an increase in the consumption of energy-dense foods, which have high levels of saturated fats and sugar.
The comorbities of obesity and overweight-related diseases include hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, type-2 diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases, to name a few. This major risks, withhold no introduction, is a rising epidemic all over the world.
Likewise, the prevalence of those who are overweight in South Korea was higher during the 2001 National Health and Nutrition Survey (NHNS) when compared to NHNS of 1998. Consequently, the 2001 data showed that the proportion of adults around 20 years of age who were overweight was 27.4 percent when compared to 23.9 percent in 1998. Obesity, on the other hand, generated 3.2 percent, an increase from 2.4 percent in 1998.
A Snapshot of the South Korean Body Fat Analyzer Market
The transformation of professional body fat analyzers to home body fat analyzers has brought a new leaf to the body fat analyzer market. Along with the integration of high technology, home body fat analyzers are rated as essential home monitoring products. The desire to monitor oneself and stay healthy as well as the fear of obesity-related diseases among South Koreans are expected to generate more demand for home body fat analyzers.
To date, the fact that fitness clubs are getting more commercialized in South Korea proves that South Koreans are getting more committed to stay healthy. Home body fat analyzers with more styles, models, and more personalized features are projected to attract more purchases in South Korea.
Being one of the more developed countries in the Asia Pacific region, South Koreans are often very concerned about their health, facilitating the penetration of home body fat analyzers in the South Korea market. Nevertheless, the growth rate for home body fat analyzers is estimated to decline by approximately 9.8 percent by year 2013, as the average replacement unit rate is very high, that is every 8 years.
A Rise in Competition
Competition in the home body fat analyzer market in South Korea has become intense, since 1998, whereby more and more participants are striving hard to dominate the market by price dumping, an activity that has long be known for its adverse effects on products. Among notable long-time participants are Tanita and JAWON Medical that have gain strong presence and accreditation from South Koreans.
Domestic competitors are expected to find it hard to sustain their market share over the forecasted period of 2004-2013 due to factors such as price competition, issues related to quality, and more importantly, the confidence and trust of consumers on their products. These criteria have long been the key factors for success of the established participants such as Tanita. As a result, Tanita’s strong presence in the home body fat analyzer market has resulted in a lack of opportunity for domestic competitors to enter the market.
Future Prospect of the Market
The total market of the home body fat analyzer is forecasted to expand in 10 years time. Nevertheless, along with saturated market and extreme competitiveness from the home body fat analyzer market is expected to depreciate in 2013. The question is, are the market players willing to pay for the cost of the price war activities in South Korea?
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