Koreans in their 40s remember having roasted rice powder as a snack in their childhoods. Korea was not economically affluent back then, and rice powder was a common way to appease hunger.
The idea to make roasted rice powder was inspired by seonsik, a highly nutritious food consumed by the Hwarang, or “Flowering Knights,” of the Silla Dynasty (1C BC–10 century AD) during their mountain training. Seonsik is made with seven natural ingredients (brown rice, glutinous rice, barley, black beans, black sesame, yulmu or Job’s tears and perilla) which are steamed or roasted, mixed together, and ground. Since it is powder, it is easy on the stomach and convenient to eat. It is also flavorful and has a good nutritional balance of fiber and oil.
The simplicity of seonsik made it a common choice of Buddhist monks. They often prepare this high-protein nutritional food before starting a long period of ascetic life. Once the convenience and nutritional value of seonsik became known to the general public, the food gained a wide popularity among consumers. Nowadays, many kinds of seonsik—including those made of seven grains and vegetables or seaweed and with various functions, such as supplementing nutrition, dieting, and improving constipation—are available on the market. The seonsik products of Mommake are attracting much attention at home and abroad.
Customized Production of Seonsik
The company whose name, “Mommake,” means “food made by mothers” produces seonsik and other healthy foods under the slogan “Changing food culture with healthy food.” The biggest strength of Mommake lies in the steaming and roasting processes. The steaming process brings to the forth the original flavor and scent of the grains. The “instant steam method” allows the producer to minimize the destruction of grain nutrients. It is a very complex procedure that few companies can manage. The roasting machine uses a vibration method which enables the production of highly sophisticated ingredients. The principle is similar to that of machines for rice puffing, making the grains taste the same even if added to regular or soy milk.
The ingredients are selected to match individual consumer types. Moreover, the company offers personalized solutions for consumers with unique constitutions. All of the ingredients come from Korea and have food safety certification. Most of Mommake’s consumers in Korea are people interested in a healthy lifestyle and women who want to control their weight. The demand for Mommake’s products is steadily increasing as many consumers find them helpful to maintain health and improve the constitution.
CEO of Mommake, Lee In-ae, explains, "We do not sell pre-made products; we have built trust with customers by manufacturing the product on the day we receive their orders. Manufacturing-to-order is the main principle and the basis of this company, and we pursue it no matter how difficult it is.”
Up to 50% Repurchase Rate in Southeast Asia
In overseas markets, Mommake offers vacuum packages of grain powder which is made by steaming, drying, roasting, and grinding grains. The general products are produced on an OEM basis, using the raw materials preferred by consumers in the target country. The premium line is sold under Mommake’s own brand and only available in offline stores.
Currently, the main importers of the products are China and Southeast Asia. The positive response to Mommake’s products in Southeast Asia can be evidenced in the fact that up to 50% of consumers buy them again. To promote Mommake, buyers apply various marketing strategies including promotional events and advertisement through social media. As a result, the company’s annual turnover has reached US$ 500,000. From June, Mommake will start exporting its products to Canada.
The company plans to expand the market using the customization strategy. Its first priority is to detect which ingredients local consumers prefer and which they dislike. Mommake usually spends 10 months to thoroughly study and analyze the eating habits and food culture of a country prior to entering the market.
The company is also putting much effort into developing new products matching the latest trends. For example, it has launched a product made with natural ingredients that help build muscle if consumed after exercising.
Lee says, "Our advantages are the manufacturing method, taste, and recognition in the domestic market. We can increase Mommake’s competitiveness overseas by raising awareness of these advantages among foreign consumers.”
Mommake Co., Ltd.
Tel +82-31-947-8485 (General Manager Eric Jung, +82-10-9040-3693)
Park Sung Eun firstname.lastname@example.org
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