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Halal Buyers Talk about K-Foods

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Export of Korean agri-products to the halal market is steadily growing. Thanks to the popularity in ASEAN and the Middle East of Korean TV dramas (A Jewel in the Palace, Jumong, Emperor of the Sea, etc.), many Muslim consumers are becoming interested in Korean agri-products and Korean cuisine. Moreover, the awareness of Korean agrifood in the region is increasing as Muslim consumers—famous for their careful choices in food purchases—learn about the excellent taste, quality, and safety of Korean food products. <Korea AgraFood> met halal buyers to hear about the potential of Korean foods to advance into the halal food market.

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“Ginseng Candy Is a Promising Entry in the Halal Food Market”
Ossama Emam Import Manager of Al Ameera Foodstuff, UAE

 

Al Ameera Food- stuff is a distribution enterprise suppling imported foods to the markets of the Middle East, including the UAE, Egypt, and Kuwait.
Ossama Emam, an import manager of the company, says, “I’m interested in importing K-Foods that possess halal certification because the awareness of K-Foods is increasing in the UAE.”
According to him, K-Foods are receiving a positive response and get credit with local consumers for the high quality and food safety. Of course, Korean foods are also very delicious. Mr. Emam is looking forward to importing processed ginseng products, snacks, and instant noodles. He said, “Korean snacks and instant noodles are perfect in all aspects: good quality, high food safety, and unique package design. Korean ginseng candy and jelly have particularly good prospects for further expansion in the halal market.”
Korean ginseng is scientifically proven to be good for the stamina. Thanks to its healthy effects, it is very popular in the Middle East. Steamed and dried red ginseng is described in the Middle East as a “mysterious medicine.”
Red ginseng capsules and tea products―offered to consumers who dislike the bitter taste of ginseng―are also attracting a lot of attention.

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“Healthy Korean Foods Are Very Popular in Indonesia”
Kim Sam-won Representative of Lejel International, Indonesia

 

Lejel International runs Lejel Home Shopping―a famo-us home shopping channel in Indonesia―and imports a variety of Korean foods including water.
Kim Sam-won, a representative of Lejel International, says, “Thanks to Hallyu (Korean culture wave), the number of local people interested in Korean foods is going up. Especially the demand for heathy Korean foods is sharply increasing in Indonesia.”
The local media often report that Korean celebrities enjoy heathy foods such as collagen beverages, pomegranate extract, and rubus coreanus juice to achieve a skin-brightening effect and keep a good body shape.
Rubus coreanus is a species of raspberry native to Korea and it is commonly used in oriental medicine. The berry is rich in anthocyanin, lyphenols, and vitamins A and C. It is very effective in skin care. Korean companies are trying to make this healthy berry easily accessible to consumers through beverages. It contributed to the popularity of Korean heathy foods among young Indonesian women. Mr. Kim picked Korean pears, apples, and satsumas as the most promising items. He explained, “The crunchiness and freshness are the strong points of the Korean fruits. If I have a chance to import the Korean satsuma, I will definitely try.”

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“Korean Strawberry Is Receiving a Positive Response”
Kelvin Tan Kean Peng Marketing Team Manager of KMT Trading, Malaysia

KMT Trading is a major distributor in Malaysia. It is actively importing many different types of Korean agri-products (such as kimchi, instant noodles, and fresh foods) and supplying them to local supermarkets.
Mr. Tan said, “Recently, the Korean strawberry has been becoming popular with Malaysians. It has achieved a dominant position among imported strawberries because of its high sugar content, firm texture, and reasonable price. Korean sweet persimmon is also becoming popular among local consumers because the fruit has a high sugar content and unique taste.”
Thanks to the excellent taste and quality, Korean strawberries are receiving a very favorable response overseas―in Hong Kong, Malaysia, and ASEAN. The most actively exported variety of the fruit is Maehyang, a native Korean species that has a hard flesh and high sugar content (12-14。Bx) and can be stored for a long time.
Mr. Tan has a positive evaluation of the trend of more Korean products, which possess Korean halal certification, being released on the market. He said, “If Korean fresh food―especially strawberry―exporters put efforts into obtaining halal certification, Korean foods can be exported to Malaysia in large quantities.”

Park Sung Eun  parkse@agrinet.co.kr

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