51 Years of Know-How in Milk Production…
The Advantages of a Swift Production Process
Arrives in China Two to Three
Days After Production
In late February, a trade fair for premium Korean agri-products was held in Guangzhou. 29 Korean food exporters and 160 Chinese distributors participated in the event. Chinese buyers demonstrated a keen interest in Korean milk products―fresh milk and fruit-flavored milk products. Many Chinese buyers pointed to the strengths of Korean milk products―the reliable quality, freshness, high food safety, and sophisticated design.
Thanks to the interest of Chinese people in Korean milk products, Korean milk exporters are quickly advancing into the Chinese market. Busan Milk Cooperative (BMC), based in Busan City and South Gyeongsang Province, is one of the Korean milk producers who export their products to China. Busan milk products entered China through the word of mouth of Chinese tourists who visited Busan. They tried Busan milk and gave it thumbs-up in terms of taste and quality. After returning to their home country, they tried to find Busan milk products in the home market.
Entered Chinese Market through Word of Mouth of Chinese Tourists Who Visited Busan City
So Chinese buyers made an inquiry regarding importing Busan milk products to BMC and the cooperative shipped the first batch of products in 2012.
Mr. Eom Oee-seok, a team manager of the Brand Marketing Team of BMC, explained, “Chinese tourists who are familiar with Busan City often look for our milk products. It is particularly true for the Chinese from the Qingdao region. The success of Busan milk products in China is a good example of a tourist item becoming an export item.”
From the beginning, BMC has been actively distributing its milk products―fresh milk and processed milk―in big Chinese cities (such as Beijing, Shanghai, and Qingdao) under the brand “Busan Milk.” The flagship fresh milk product of BMC is “The First Grade” (Jeong-il-pum in Korean). It’s three times more expensive than other fresh milk products, so the regular shoppers for The First Grade are mainly the Chinese in the higher and middle income groups.
Premium Fresh Milk “The First Grade” and Fruit-Flavored Processed Milk Are Popular with Consumers Living in the Big Cities of China
Mr. Eom said, “There was a blind test to evaluate the taste and quality of the fresh milk products distributed in China. The First Grade was selected as the top-rated fresh milk through that test. It is now standing well with Chinese consumers.”
Fruit-flavored processed milk products―with the flavors of strawberry, chocolate, and banana―are also becoming popular with Chinese consumers. Thanks to the sweet taste, they are the favorites of infants and children. Other milk products of BMC are also receiving attention from Chinese buyers. They include: Calcium Milk (contains twice as much calcium, iron, and vitamins as common fresh milk products), Busan Milk 1A (another bestseller of BMC), and My Friend JjangJjang (the product is recommended for children during the growth period because it is fortified with the nutrition promoting growth).
Just Two hours from Farm to Finished Product
BMC boasts the fastest milk production system among Korean milk producers. It is called “2-Hour System” (or “Fast-Process”) because it takes only two hours to collect raw milk from 280 dairy farmers of Busan City and South Gyeongsang Province and make the final product. Furthermore, it takes just two hours more to deliver the products from the factory to consumers.
Thanks to the swift production process, the company was also able to reduce the shipping time to China. In general, a sell-by date for a fresh milk product is around two weeks. According to Chinese regulations, to export fresh milk products to China, the customs formalities must be completed within three days of the production date and the products must be displayed in local stores and supermarkets within seven days. Most Korean fresh milk products are able to meet all these requirements three to four days after production, but Busan milk products reach the Chinese supermarkets even faster―within two to three days.
Among Korean milk producers, BMC was the first to obtain the HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) certification. The cooperative also maintains the highest quality milk products by carrying out rigid quality control every day through physico-chemical tests, antibiotics tests, and so on.
Preparing Promotional Events for Chinese Visitors to Busan…Planning to Advance into Southeast Asian Markets
BMC was established 51 years ago. In the near future, the cooperative plans to focus on expanding its distribution routes to big supermarkets in major Chinese cities and organizing promotional milk tasting events for Chinese tourists who come to Busan. BMC is also considering advancing into Southeast Asia (the Philippines, Cambodia, and Vietnam). It is establishing contact with the local buyers to start exports.
Park Sung Eun firstname.lastname@example.org
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