A lot of new words are being made these days. Among other things, the new word that people should pay attention to is “1conomy”. The word “1conomy” is compounded one person and the economy. It means an economic phenomenon caused by people enjoying their own consumption. This consumption trend has been settled into a cultural life due to an increase in one-person households. This phenomenon was also caused by the spread of individualism as in the western.
According to Statistics Korea's population census, the proportion of one-person households began to increase steadily from 15.5 percent in 2000 and reached to 27.2% in 2015, 27.9% in 2016. As the number of non-marriageists has increased in recent years, the one-person household is expected to rise further by Statistics Korea. Along with the increase of one-person household, one-person life patterns such as "Hon-bab(혼밥)", "Hon-sul(혼술)" and "Hon-nol(혼놀)" become entrenched. Hon-bab refers to eating alone and Hon-sul means drinking alone. Hon-nol also means playing alone while enjoying one's own time.
The increase of one-persons household and the living pattern of one-person households are changing the trends of domestic consumer market in terms of travel, distribution and home appliances. As one-person households have the feature that they invest resolutely in consumption for themselves, the distribution industry has recently been actively marketing single-person households with a target. For example, small amounts of alcohol packaged enough to drink alone are constantly being released for those who enjoy "hon-sul". A bottle of wine, usually 750 ml, has recently been launched the small quantities of 375 ml for one-person households.
Also, there are mini-sized snacks that are easy to eat at a mouthful. These snacks are estimated positively to be easy packaging and keeping at the confined space. In this way, the distribution industry tends to launch minimal products, targeting the "1comomy" generation. Oh Se-jo, a professor of business administration at Yonsei University, said about this trend, "The increasing number of single-person households has made a difference in the form of consumption, and this has affected the type of consumption," adding, "For consumers of one-person households, the small quantity of products will think more reasonably than high-capacity ones".
The "1conomy" trend is gaining sensational popularity among consumer not only among the distribution industry but also the home appliances, just as the rice cookers or refrigerators for one-person households are being released. Small household appliances, which are easy to use in small spaces, stand at the center. Water purifiers aimed at single-person households are light in weight and narrow in width, making them more efficient in space. The system also requires self-replacement of filters so that the filters can be sent to consumers on a regular basis, such as by courier, so that they can be replaced on their own.
Also, small amounts of food products for one-person households have the highest share in convenience stores. Lee Joon-young, author of 1comomy, details the overall characteristic of the 1conomy era in this book. For the reasons why the convenience stores are in the limelight among various industry of one-person household, he said in an interview, "Because of the characteristics of single-person households, they seek to pursue the most efficient shopping in terms of time and finances, and it is convenience stores that make these possible."
According to the book 1conomy, economical trend is fundamentally happened as the increase in the number of one-person households. However, from a psychological point of view, the phenomenon is caused by people who are tired of human relationships and are afraid of complicated relationships to enjoy their free single life. Although the "1conomy" trend began from these psychological points of view, it is meaningful in making a new trend of economic consumption and creating one's own unique and cultural life. In this sense, economic consumption trends can be a great opportunity to discover your unique identity.