Overseas Buyers Trust Quality and Food Safety of NongHyup
The Only Brand with aT Quality Mark among Korean Yuja Tea Producers
It’s not too much to say that the power of a brand name decides the sales of products these days. In the global food market, the higher the recognition of a company’s brand, the better it sells. Agri-foods produced by the National Agricultural Cooperative Federation (NACF) enjoy the brand effect. Consumers believe that the agri-products offered by the federation are of good quality as the foods are cultivated and supplied directly by Korean farmers. NH Trading is the company that actively promotes the high-quality agri-products of the NACF in foreign markets. <Korea AgraFood> has met with the Second Export Team of NH Trading to listen to the stories related to exported foods of the NongHyup brand.
What kind of company is NH Trading?
Established in June of 1990, NH Trading is a subsidiary wholly owned by NongHyup. Currently, 124 local agricultural cooperative federations in Korea are actively using our company to export their agri-products to about 30 foreign countries - Japan, the US, Europe, and so on.
What kinds of Korean agri-products are you exporting?
NH Trading is responsible for exporting all the NongHyup foods around the world. Our representative export items include world-famous Korean healthy foods such as kimchi, processed red ginseng products, and yuja (citron) tea products. In addition, we export a variety of other Korean agri-products. For example, our fresh foods (singo pear, sweet persimmon, chestnut, peach, apple, and grape) are mainly distributed in the US, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Southeast Asian countries. The bell pepper, strawberry, melon, and cherry tomato enjoy continuous popularity in Japan and Southeast Asia.
NongHyup’s yuja tea product has recently obtained the Korean government’s quality certification. Can you explain more about that?
From this year, Nonghyup yuja tea products are being exported to foreign markets with the aT (Korean government organization; Korea Agro-fisheries & Food Trade Corp.) quality certification mark “Korean Citron.” This means that Nong-Hyup yuja tea products undergo thorough quality control and are secure in terms of food safety. NH Trading anticipates that the recognition of NongHyup yuja tea products will further increase because a Korean government agency directly guarantees the quality of the tea products.
Why, in your opinion, is Korean citron tea so popular overseas?
The biggest merits of Korean citron tea are its beautiful yellow color and the sweet-and-sour taste. Citron tea contains three times the amount of vitamin C found in a lemon, so it is effective in skin care and preventing colds. To prevent influenza, the Chinese medicine industry even ran a campaign for the local consumers promoting “drinking a cup of citron tea a day.”
What do you think of the competitiveness and weak points of NongHyup yuja tea?
The strongest point of Nonghyup yuja tea is that consumers can be confident in its quality. Each jar of NongHyup yuja tea is made with the sweat and toil of farmers who cultivate and harvest citrons on their farms. When sales promotions for NongHyup yuja tea products are held, we always emphasize the producers’efforts as our marketing point. The overseas consumers’ brand loyalty to Korean NongHyup is quite high because the entire process of making NongHyup yuja tea - from purchasing citrons to processing, packing, distribution, and sales - is carried out in a clear and transparent way. The popularity of Korean citron tea is soaring in more than ten countries including the US, Japan, Southeast Asian countries, and our main export market - China.
The price of NongHyup yuja tea is considerably higher than that of other Korean yuja tea products. Could you explain why that is?
It’s true that NongHyup yuja tea products are generally 20~40 percent more expensive than other Korean yuja tea products offered in overseas markets. The reason is that NongHyup uses only the ingredients that are proven to be safe, while low-priced ingredients are completely excluded. It also explains why NongHyup yuja tea products are recognized as premium yuja tea as compared to other yuja tea products. If there were no grounds for making our tea more expensive, no overseas buyer would buy it.
Could you tell us about the future plans of NH Trading for exporting NongHyup agri-products?
So far Nonghyup yuja tea products have been mainly distributed in department stores and big supermarkets of major Chinese cities such as Beijing and Shanghai. But this year we plan to break into the distribution networks of small and medium-sized cities in China. Our company will launch yuja tea in small bottles (280g) because of the current rise in demand for small-packaged foods among Chinese consumers. What’s more, NH Trading is about to release a NongHyup seasoned seaweed snack in the US and a pluriflorum tea in China.
Park Sung Eun firstname.lastname@example.org
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