A country in mainland Southeast Asia, Myanmar has recorded excellent economic growth since the liberalization of its market. Its food imports have also been increasing by over 20% a year. Thanks to the influence of the Korean Wave (Hallyu), Korean pop culture and food are gaining wider recognition in the country.
Taking note of these trends, aT (Korea Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corporation) is hosting the K-Food Fair in Yangon at the Main and Side Atriums of the Junction City Mall on September 16 and 17. The venue, a modern shopping multiplex which opened in March, is attracting a lot of people, with the number of visitors this year expected to reach 14 million.
The K-Food Fair is designed to diversify the markets for Korean agriproducts by bringing publicity to the excellence of Korean food in foreign countries and offering local consumers an opportunity to taste diverse Korean agriproducts.
The Rise of Korean Food in Myanmar with Hallyu as a Springboard
In Myanmar, the Korean Wave started in 2002 in the wake of the sensational popularity of Korean TV drama Autumn in My Heart. The interest in Korean TV series has led to curiosity about Korean food. Tteokbokki (stir-fried rice cake) and dakgalbi (stir-fried chicken) are receiving favorable responses from the local people. Fresh Korean farm products such as grapes, peaches, and apples have also found their way into Myanmar.
Yang Jae-seong, Managing Director of the aT office in Bangkok, said, “City Mart Holdings, a major distributor in Myanmar, imports and distributes Korean fruit in the local market.” He explained, “Myanmar has great growth potential for Korean exporters of agriproducts since the local people’s food consumption is upgrading quickly and their interest in food safety and high quality food are rapidly increasing as well.”
Various Events Prepared for Consumers
Focusing on the consumer (B2C), aT will set up a food promotion hall and a food sales center at the K-Food Fair in Yangon. The promotion hall is going to house exhibitions and sampling areas for ginseng products, beverages, noodles, and other major Korean food exports. It will also include a Miracle Promotion booth displaying promising products and a booth demonstrating the most successful products making headway into overseas markets. Chefs will perform Korean cuisine cooking shows and promotion experts will lead the tasting events.
The food sales center will be operated by local companies that possess permits for importing Korean food into Myanmar. It will host several events in collaboration with celebrities in Myanmar entertainment business.
Yang said, “The coming event aims to increase Myanmar consumers’ familiarity with Korean food by offering them the opportunity to experience Korean products at a popular shopping mall in downtown Yangon.” He added, “By combining promotional events with cultural experiences, we want consumers to learn about Korean agriproducts in an easy, natural way.”
Lee Hyun Woo firstname.lastname@example.org
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