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Crunchy Fruit Catches Foreigners’ Eyes with Novel Idea

Makeover of Fruit, Abishag Fruit Chip
Selected as Best Commoditization Company by Korean Government

Health is the keyword encompassing all trends in the food markets around the world. Healthy foods, functional foods, environmentally friendly foods, and so on are in the spotlight. The healthy food products for children are receiving particular attention. Regardless of price, parents choose for their kids the foods that are safe. The Korean company Hephzibah F&B is exporting wholesome snacks for children that retain the original flavor of fruit just like dried fruit. For its excellent products that have a distinct crunchy taste, Hephzibah F&B was selected the best commoditization company by the Korean government. met with Kim Hyun-soo, President of Hephzibah F&B, to listen to stories about exporting their products.

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What kind of company is Hephzibah F&B?


Established in 2008, Hephzibah F&B is a food processing company located in Naju-si, Jeollanam-do, Korea. The area is famous for producing excellent quality pears. We are making Abishag Fruit Chips and exporting them to the US, Japan, and Hong Kong. In Korea, the product is selling at department stores as a premium kids snack.
What is Abishag Fruit Chip?
It is similar to dried fruit, but not exactly the same. Thanks to the special manufacturing process of our company, the fruit chips have come to taste crunchy like potato chips. The chewy taste common for dried fruit disappears. That is why I named this special dried fruit “fruit chips.” The novel idea was appreciated by aT (Korea Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corporation) as the company was selected one of the top commoditization companies.

Invented the Low Temperature Drying System
Accounts for Original Fruit Flavor and Fragrance, and Crunchy Taste
Exports to the US, Japan, and Hong Kong

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What is “the best commoditization company recognized by the Korean government” ?
And how did you win the title?


aT carries out many projects to increase the export volume of Korean agriproducts. One such effort is selecting the top commoditization companies. aT gives the title to the companies that have developed a special method of production, processing, or distribution of their products; or have a great potential for exports. We were awarded for the special manufacturing process: making dried fruit snacks.


Could you tell me more about the manufacturing process of Hephzibah F&B? What do you think of the competitiveness of Abishag Fruit Chip? And how do foreign buyers and overseas consumers respond to the product?


The strongest point of Abishag Fruit Chip is that the chips are thin and have a crunchy taste just like potato chips. We are using a special manufacturing process called low temperature drying system. When I first started my business, I got stuck several times. Slices of fruits kept sticking to the drying machines. After much trial and error, I found the way to dry fruit so it does not stick to the machines and made mass production possible.
What’s more, the low temperature drying system allows the Abishag chips to retain the original fragrance and color of the fruit. That is why foreigners are always surprised when they see the vivid colors and feel the crunchy taste of Abishag for the first time. They often ask whether it is dried fruits or a fruit flavored snack.


Why are the exports of Abishag increasing?


The biggest merits of Abishag Fruit Chips are food safety and convenience. The sweetness of the product is 100 percent natural. No artificial additives such as sugar, food preservatives, flavor enhancers, or food coloring are used. Frankly speaking, I conceived of the Abishag chips as a kids’ food from the very beginning. So I purchased organic and environmentally friendly agricultural products and developed Abishag with them. Thanks to these merits, Abishag became famous through word-of-mouth and the number of overseas consumers who are looking for Abishag is also increasing. These days, the product is also becoming popular with office workers who don’t have enough time to regularly eat fruits and with the elderly who want to have fruit in a convenient way.

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Could you tell us about the future plans of Hephzibah F&B?


We are currently exporting Abishag fruit chips to the US, Japan, and Hong Kong. This year, we are focusing on expansion of the overseas markets. As part of these efforts, in the beginning of this year, I signed a supply contract with a cafe company in the US and am preparing to build a new plant. In addition to the currently offered variety of pear, apple, sweet persimmon, grape, strawberry, tangerine, banana, fig, and the newly released kimchi chips, we will soon introduce the new Abishag flavors of watermelon and oriental melon. And we will carry out an aggressive marketing campaign in order to increase the market share. The target for 2013 is selling USD$90,000 worth of Abishag chips.

Inquiries  Hephzibah F&B             
Tel  +82-61-330-2827             
Fax  +82-61-330-2825            
Website   www.hfnb.co.kr                  

Park Sung Eun  parkse@agrinet.co.kr

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