Successful Export Deal with China after One Year of Preparations
With kimchi exports from Korea to China having restarted in June last year, Chinese consumers can once again enjoy the taste of original kimchi and many do, as seen in a considerable increase in the volume of kimchi China imports. According to figures published by MAFRA (the Korean Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs), the export volume of kimchi reached its highest last year in over 25 years since the beginning of diplomatic relations between South Korea and China. Chinese consumers appreciate the authentic taste of Korean kimchi and the fact that it is produced in highly sanitary conditions. Yesodam’s “Exciting Kimchi” is one of the Korean kimchi products exported to China and receiving favorable reviews for its food safety.
Known through Word-of-Mouth for Authentic Taste and Sophisticated Packaging
Established in 2005, Yesodam is a kimchi producer located in Cheongju of North Chungcheong Province. While adhering to longstanding kimchi-making traditions, the company uses trendy packaging and the newest marketing methods. Yun Byunghak, CEO of Yesodam, said, “We decided not to manufacture for large companies through OEM (original equipment manufacturing) contracts but to establish our own brand, Yesodam. That is because we cannot develop products with unique characteristics under someone else’s brand. Yesodam kimchi has its own uniqueness, based on which we have grown into a stable business with annual sales of KRW 15 billion.”
The company succeeded in signing an export deal after just one year of preparations. Yun said, “We started participating in exhibitions from the beginning of this year, after hearing that export route for kimchi to China has reopened. As a result, we have been able to advance to the high-end kimchi market and convenience stores of China through a contract with Jungback Group, a distributor in Wuhan (China).”
Catching the Eyes of Chinese Buyers with Traditional Taste and Modern Packaging
What attracted Chinese buyers to the kimchi products of Yesodam? The main factors are the traditional production process, careful selection of ingredients, and trendy packaging.
Due to differences in preferences and a longer distribution period, Korean kimchi products exported overseas are generally less crispy and do not have the spiciness or strong fermented flavor of products made for the domestic market. In contrast, the kimchi of Yesodam maintains its freshness and savory taste for a long time because it is made with a special broth cooked by heating and condensing kelp, anchovy, and roots of green onion at high pressure for 12 hours. Yun said, “A traditional way of making kimchi is to use broth as the base for seasoning. This process takes a long time but you have to do it if you want to have original kimchi.” The company also sticks to using only ingredients grown in Korea, such as cabbage, radish, red pepper, garlic, and onion.
However, the company does not follow the traditional way of packaging. On the contrary, they try to reflect the newest trends in technology and design. The name of the product series was changed from “Yesodam Kimchi” to “Exciting Kimchi” to make it easier to pronounce for foreigners. Smaller packages have been introduced to cater to the needs of single person households. Yun said, “We use plastic packaging material so it is easy to store and use the product. We have reduced the size of packages from 800g to 500g. We have also created cute characters and are using them in the packaging design to project a luxurious and trendy image and to have a signature differentiating our products from others.”
Yun shared Yesodam’s goals, saying “We plan to cultivate the kimchi market in China by utilizing our advantages of the authentic taste of traditional kimchi and high food safety. We will actively promote our products to health-conscious Chinese consumers in the higher-income bracket.”
Three Kinds of Exciting Kimchi Offered by Yesodam
Creamy Sweet :The product has a reduced spiciness and salted seafood flavor and is made sweeter with healthy maple syrup. It is popular among foreigners and children who dislike the spiciness and strong flavor of kimchi.
Soft Spicy : Compared to Creamy Sweet, this product is spicier. The spiciness is achieved with a natural ingredient, red pepper, and without any artificial additives. Consumers enjoy the refreshing hot flavor of Korean Cheongyang red pepper, and the sales rate of this products is the highest among the three.
Traditional : With the Traditional type of Exciting Kimchi, you can experience the original taste of Korean kimchi. The flavor is deepened with the addition of prawn and anchovy sauce which has been aged for over 2 years at low temperature. The more this kimchi ripens, the tastier it becomes.
Yesodam Co., Ltd
Tel: +82-43-266-5233 (+82-10-6431-0069)
Kim Hyo Jin firstname.lastname@example.org
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