The Leading Exporter of K-Food to Europe, “Hosan Co., Ltd.”
The influential French daily “Le Monde” vividly described the popularity of Hanryu (Korean culture wave) in Europe through the article “Hanryu is spreading in Europe” published in June of last year. The paper reported that “performances of young K-pop singers electrified the French people,” “European youngsters made a petition for K-pop performances,” and “all K-pop concert tickets were sold out in 15 minutes.” The article underlined that young Europeans are becoming interested in Korean pop culture such as pop music, cinema, dramas, and so on.
With the level of curiosity about Korean pop culture rising in Europe, Korean agri-products appeared on the shelves of large distributors and retail stores around the market. Korean foods are particularly popular among Asian consumers who live in Europe. But non-Asian local consumers and foreign tourists also frequently look for Korean agri-products in the Chinatowns of London and Paris. Many Korean food export companies are making inroads into the Asian food market of Europe, and Hosan Co., Ltd. is a recognized leader among them.
Actively Targeting Overseas Markets with the Company’s Own Brand “A+”
Hosan Co., Ltd. is actively exploring overseas markets, including Europe, with the products developed under its own brand “A+.” Introducing ordinary overseas consumers to Korean agri-products, which have competitive prices and are secure in terms of quality, is Hosan’s export strategy. There are about a hundred export product categories in the brand A+ : instant noodles (including udon, which is thick white noodles made from wheat flour, salt, and water), aloe beverages, seasoned seaweed, Asian pears, king oyster mushrooms, etc. All of these Korean agri-products are popular with foreign people. The export sales of kimchi and sauces, including bulgogi (thin slices of beef marinated in a soy sauce) seasoning, are on the rise in Southeast Asian countries. The demand for aloe products as healthy beverages is increasing in Eastern Europe.
Hosan Co., Ltd. also developed the seasoned seaweed snacks “Beer Mate” and “Taekwon Boy.” The products are designed as easily approachable snacks to beer, so that they appeal to European and American consumers who are generally reluctant to have seaweed. All of Hosan’s seasoned seaweed snacks are very healthy as they are cooked with olive oil and are low in salt.
Unceasing Search for New Overseas Buyers Is the Driving Force behind Hosan’s Success
The continuous search for overseas buyers is the biggest reason Hosan has been able to export its food products to overseas markets for such a long time. The CEO of Hosan, Lee Pil-song, stays abroad over six months each a year in order to actively promote Korean agri-products by participating in various international food fairs and negotiating with foreign buyers. In the beginning, due to the low awareness of Korean agri-products, many overseas buyers had doubts about them. But Hosan made a lot of efforts to build the market in the form of aggressive marketing and direct business negotiations. The hard work paid off with Hosan staying at the forefront of Korean exports and steadily introducing new Korean agri-products to overseas markets.
Efforts to Develop a Variety of Korean Sauces
This year, Hosan’s goal is the production of various Korean sauce products. They believe that the larger the choice of Korean sauces is, the more opportunities foreign consumers will have to cook and eat Korean dishes. And, as a result, the number of overseas consumers looking for Korean food products will increase.
Mr. Lee said, “It will take quite some time, but it’s most important to make foreign people realize how great in quality and diverse the Korean foods are. Hosan will try hard to follow in the footsteps of K-pop and expand the base of Korean products in the European market with our food products.”
Inquiries Hosan Co., Ltd. Tel +82-2-564-9941~2
Park Sung Eun firstname.lastname@example.org
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