Bukha Article of Special Quality Enterprise (BUKHA ASQE) is a company exporting over 50 kinds of fermented foods such as pickled vegetables, pickled seafood, pastes and kimchi. Its annual sales amount to US$ 1.4 million, about US$ 0.5 million of which comes from exports to the US, Australia, and Japan. The company is about to start shipping to China as well. Its products meet the preferences of overseas consumers in terms of flavor, nutrition, and functionality.
Traditional Production Method as a Means of Differentiation from Rivals
BUKHA ASQE has procured two patents, one for the way it makes pastes and the other for the salting of vegetables. Both were developed through thirty years of experience in the field. According to Jung Byung-jun, CEO of BUKHA ASQE, the excellent taste of the company’s products has played an important role in its export success. He said, “All fifty kinds of products are made by hand by the 13-member staff who are in their 60s and 70s, so you may count on their expertise in and devotion to traditional food, resulting in excellent products. When this became known to consumers, our products began to receive praise for safety, hygiene, and flavor, so this year, we decided to apply for the traditional food certification.”
Pickled sesame leaves, pickled plum and pepper, salted heartwood hairtail, red pepper paste with roasted croaker, and other BUKHA ASQE products are popular both at home and overseas. In foreign markets, they won the hearts of many overseas Koreans and Chinese. The exports to the US, Japan, and Australia are consistently growing.
Passing Rigorous Inspections of Department Stores
One of the advantages of BUKHA ASQE is that it uses only Korean ingredients. This helps obtain consumers’ trust in safety, quality, taste, and nutrition of the products. Even department stores, which are known for conducting rigorous inspections before choosing a supplier, recognize the excellent safety and quality of BUKHA ASQE products.
Furthermore, many of the ingredients are also eco-friendly, a feature attracting many foreign consumers. The products have been offered in standardized packaging and are produced in highly hygienic facilities ever since the company’s second factory was completed in 2010.
As part of its effort to reflect the high quality of its products in the packaging, BUKHA ASQE recently started offering them in airtight containers that can be opened with one touch. It also increased its marketing activities emphasizing its long history and accumulated knowhow. As a result, the re-purchase rate has grown by 30% compared to last year and the company succeeded in creating a luxurious image for its products.
Expanding Exports through Localization
Jung points out that to expand exports, a company needs to localize its products. He says, “We did not want to sell overseas through brokers, so we established an office in the US and built our own network of stores, storages, and distribution hubs. In Australia, we apply a sole distributor system where we deal directly with local buyers, delivering the products they demand, developing new products, and making other efforts to customize our products to the conditions on the ground.”
An increasing number of consumers overseas regard pastes and pickles as healthy food, leading to a rise of interest in BUKHA ASQE products. The re-purchase rate in foreign markets is also growing. The company plans to expand its production facilities to meet the demand abroad.
Thanks to the wider awareness of health benefits of fermented foods around the world, the consumers of BUKHA ASQE products now include not only overseas Koreans but also local Chinese, Vietnamese, Malaysians, Japanese, and others.
The company plans to reinforce marketing, develop more products with properties of preventing adult diseases, and put more effort into customizing its products in accordance with preferences of local consumers.
Bukha Article of Special Quality Enterprise
Lee Young Ju firstname.lastname@example.org
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