Japan is the largest market for Korean exports. For example, in the first five months of this year, Korea exported to Japan US$ 512.7 million worth of food and agricultural products, which equals 18.9% of Korea’s total export amount during that period and is Korea’s largest export to a single country.
Recognizing the importance of Japan as a market for Korean food exports, MAFRA (the Korean Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs) and aT (Korea Agro-Fisheries and Food Trade Corporation) are hosting the 2017 Global K-Food Fair in Tokyo at the Grand Prince Hotel-Takanawa on July 26 and 27. The bellwether of this year’s K-food fairs, the 2017 K-Food Fair in Tokyo will include various events such as export consultations, seminars, and exhibitions of products.
During the export consultations, fifty Korean exporters will engage in one-to-one negotiations with about 200 representatives of Japanese distributors, vendors, importers, and regional buyers. It is anticipated that the consultations will help many Korean companies to make a breakthrough in the Japanese market. Fourteen products presentations will be hosted for Japanese buyers and distributors to enhance their understanding of Korean farm products.
A seminar on such issues as export quarantine and customs clearance is expected to draw much attention from participating companies. Another seminar will deal with Japanese consumer trends and suggest measures to increase exports of Korean food to Japan.
Meanwhile, the participating Korean exporters will do their best to attract publicity by introducing promising Korean products that reflect the latest Japanese food trends such as the Japanese consumers’ interest in health, premium food, and convenience products.
The K-Food Fair will exhibit Korea’s leading health products including ginseng. Kuan Industrial Co., Ltd., Punggi Premium Goods Agricultural Cooperative, and Dong-jin Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. will introduce red ginseng products. Komega Co., Ltd. (which broke into the Japanese market with its fresh perilla seed oil) and Jeilseed Co., Ltd. (which is famous for Danjo pepper—a type of chili pepper lowering blood sugar) are going to promote fresh perilla seed oil, chili pepper, and chili pepper paste.
Setting its sights on the Japanese market where home meal replacement (HMR) is becoming increasingly popular as a result of a large number of single-person households, Daeseong F&D will demonstrate its easy-to-cook rice noodles and buckwheat noodles, while Wonil Food will display various sauces designed for rice dishes.
Visitors to the fair will encounter many Korean fresh farm products. Evergood Corporation will explore the possibilities of exporting fresh fruit—such as pear, apple, and grapefruit—and forests products—such as chestnut. K-mush and H&P International will try to increase their sales of enokitake (winter mushroom). Other companies will exhibit extremely spicy stir-fried instant noodles, which are very popular in Southeast Asia, beverages (including citron tea and aloe juice), and Korean dishes such as tteokbokki (spicy stir-fried rice cake) and samgyetang (ginseng chicken soup).
○ Korean Foods Expected to Catch Japanese Eyes
Current Japanese trends can be summarized as “healthy HMR solutions for younger people” and “healthy meals for seniors.” The common denominator is health. Therefore, Korean exporters targeting the Japanese market focus on healthy food that can appeal to different generations. The Korean products that are healthy and match the tastes of Japanese consumers receive many favorable reviews. Below are five Korean agricultural products that are already enjoying popularity or have a good potential in the Japanese market.
# Samgyetang with Perilla Seed
Korea’s representative invigorating dish, samgyetang, is made with a variety of healthy ingredients such as ginseng, chestnut, glutinous rice, and jujube. With the addition of perilla seed, which is effective in fighting diabetes and aging, boosting immunity, and nourishing the body, samgyetang is a health food that can be enjoyed by anyone regardless of age or gender. An importer of Korean food, M&N Corporation, has signed a contract to supply Perilla Seed Samgyetang to Japanese vender Mitsubishi Food and is negotiating agreements with large distributors such as Ito-Yokado.
* Inquiries: M&N Corporation
Tel: +81-48-421-7777, +81-80-3092-9142(Kim Sang-jin, CEO)
Kiwi contains large quantities of dietary fiber, potassium, and folic acid and is effective in losing weight and preventing high blood pressure. Since the fruit is soft, elderly people who have a hard time chewing can eat it, too, so kiwi is perfect for the food market of Japan, an ultra-aging society. Exports of Korean kiwi to Japan increased from a mere 2 tons in 2014 to 59 tons in 2015 and 1,178 tons in 2016. This year, 827 tons have been shipped to Japan by May.
*Inquiries: Suncheon Common of the Primary Cooperatives Union Cooperation
·Tel: +82 61-752-0400 (Sales & Management Dept.)
·Fax: +82 61-752-7771
# Stir-Fried Rice
Working couples, single people, the elderly, and many other types of consumers look for food that is both delicious and convenient. Hanwoomul Agriculture Union Corporation from Gimje in North Jeolla Province makes its frozen stir-fried rice with locally grown rice and domestically cultivated onion, bell pepper, seasoned thistle, and dried radish greens. It takes only four minutes in a microwave to cook the product. It also receives favorable reviews for its taste.
Inquiries: Hanwoomul Agriculture Union Corporation
·Tel: +82 63-547-8200(Ohm Sang-hee, Representative Director)
It is not easy to make sauces at home for every meal. Bab Sauce produced by The Bab Co., Ltd. is a versatile sauce which you can mix with cooked rice, add to meat, or use as a natural seasoning to enhance the flavor of various stews. It is available in different levels of spiciness. The product uses only natural ingredients such as Cheongyang chili pepper, dried anchovy, dried kelp, plum extract, oligosaccharide, canola oil, and soy sauce brewed in a traditional way. This healthy sauce can be enjoyed by vegetarians as well.
* Inquiries: The Bab Co., Ltd.
·Tel: +82 70-7931-9979 (Jeong Hyeak-sik, CEO)
# Fresh Perilla Seed Oil
Perilla seed oil contains over 60% alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3), a fat acid known to be an excellent anti-cancer agent and good at preventing and treating arteriosclerosis and high blood pressure. Because of these effects, it is recommended to have 5–10㎖ of perilla seed oil a day. Seowondang Food produces and exports fresh perilla seed oil made from perilla grown in the clean, natural environment of Gangwon Province. Since the company uses a cold compression method, the oil is free from benzopyrene, a carcinogen.
* Inquiries: Seowondang Food
·Tel: +82 70-4177-4157 (Kim Bong-hyun, CEO)
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