Hanyang Mart Leads the Popularity of Korean Healthy Food in New York
H&Y Marketplace, also known as Hanyang Mart, was established in 1986, and its first store opened in Queens, New York, committed to the vision of striving to support the health and youth of its customers. Now, nearly twenty-five years on, H&Y Marketplace has moved beyond its original vision, expanding its operations to various parts of New York, New Jersey, and even down in Georgia, thus having established itself as a significant presence in the retail supermarket business in America. The President of Hanyang mart, Han Taek-sun, received New York City’s Asian-American Business Award in 1993. More recently, he was awarded the Mets Spirit Award at the 3rd Annual Asian night at Shea Stadium and the NECO Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 2003.
Hanyang Mart imports Korean fruits such as pears and a variety of seafoods such as dried lever, seaweed, dried anchovy etc. Also, the company imports seasoned and salted seafood and Korean tea. Hanyang Mart buys Korean pears worth USD$ 2 hundred thousand, USD$ 1 million of seafood products (include dried lever: USD$ 5 hundred thousand), and USD$ 3 hundred thousand of seasoned seafood annually.
The main customers of the imported Korean agriproducts are Asians such as Korean, Chinese, and Filipinos. They have been increasingly popular in the United States especially among the Chinese. Changes in lifestyle and diet, as well as increasing affluence, have resulted in the growing demand for high-quality and healthy products. The increase in demand and popularity of Korean food are the main driving forces for Hanyang Mart to import Korean agriproducts, along with the fact that consumers are becoming increasingly health and safety conscious. Mr. Han said: “Korean food in general is known as the ‘power food’ among local customers due to its enriched nutritive quality and great taste. Many Chinese customers indeed regard Korean agriproducts are better in quality and level of nutrition than Chinese agriproducts.”
However, there are also some problems involved in importing Korean agriproducts. Mr. Han said: “Importing Korean agriproducts, especially seasoned or salted seafood products, can be challenging due to the lack of exporters in Korea that qualify for the HACCP standard.” Another big problem is that Korean companies are weak on package design that can catch the eyes of customers. Mr. Han added: ‘It is often said that consumers will look at a product for less than three seconds before deciding whether to look further or move on. Korean companies need to promote measures to improve their product packaging which is not only a means of protecting the contents of a package, but are a part of the product experience itself.” Mr. Han understands well that with around forty thousand different packs to choose from in the average supermarket, across food and non-food items, the challenge is to stand out from the crowd.
Hanyang Mart in NY
Still, despite these problems, as customer demand for Korean food varieties is growing, Hanyang mart plans to import more. Mr. Han said with confidence: “I plan on importing higher quality and more varieties of agriproducts from Korea upon bilateral trade liberalization when the KORUS FTA is ratified and comes into effect in the quite near future.”
Inquiries Han Taek-sun
Park Sung Eun firstname.lastname@example.org
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