Could you briefly introduce yourself and your company?
H&Y Marketplace, also known as Hanyang Mart, was established in 1986 with the first store opening in Queens, New York. Our vision is to strive for the “health” and “youth” of our customers. The “freshness” of our products is one of our core strengths, along with the dedicated team of employees. Now, nearly 25 years on, H&Y Marketplace has expanded the operations in New York and New Jersey, and is establishing a significant presence in the retail and wholesale industry. I’m Taek S. Han, President of H&Y Marketplace.
What made you import Korean Agri-products?
Korean agri-products have been steadily gaining popularity in the US market. I think the main reasons that contribute to this trend are, first, as people begin to become more health conscious and turn toward healthier eating, they are looking for healthier food alternatives. Korean cuisine is known as one of the healthiest diets, and I see a constant increase in the demand for Korean food. Secondly, the “Korean Culture Wave” (Hanryu) is spreading through Asia and in the United States. As the Korean cuisine was beginning to gain a solid ground, I wanted to import Korean agri-products to meet customer needs and also to introduce our culture to the community.
What kinds of Korean agri-products are you importing?
H&Y Marketplace imports a variety of agricultural products from Korea. The main K-agricultural products are the pear ($500,000/year), radish ($100,000/year), and dried laver ($300,000/year). We have also been supplying dried anchovy, rice, salt, and multi-grains.
Who are the main consumers of the imported Korean agri-products?
On the retail level, our main customers are Asian people - Korean Americans, Chinese, and Filipinos are the majority in particular. On the wholesale level, our main customers are local supermarkets and restaurants in the New York and New Jersey areas.
How do local people respond to K-food?
The local customer response to Korean agri-products has always been favorable. It is generally known as “power food” among the local customers, due to the high level of nutrition and great taste. We have seen an increase in Chinese customers at our stores as they think the Korean agri-products are better in quality and higher in nutrition than the products from their own country.
Have you experienced any problems when importing Korean agri-products? Any suggestions on what needs to be improved?
I would like to see an improvement in the packaging of the products. For example, Korean pears usually come in a box with 9~12 pears. Smaller packaging with a more attractive design would draw more attention from customers.
Park Sung Eun firstname.lastname@example.org
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