SEOUL, Feb. 13 (Korea Bizwire) — Kimchi imported from China has long frequented dinner tables in South Korea.
Now, Korean kimchi is expected to show up on Chinese tables more often.
South Korea’s state-run Korea Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corp. (aT) said Chinese consumers are increasingly drawn to Korean kimchi, known to be effective against adult diseases and obesity.
China is well-known for its meat-based diet, which is pointed to as one of the major causes of the high cholesterol and high blood pressure rampant throughout the country.
Naturally, Korean kimchi is gaining popularity among Chinese consumers as a nutritious, fat-free food.
Last October, chicken franchise KFC’s Chinese Branch introduced a kimchi hamburger that uses kimchi imported from Korea.
What’s more, after a South Korean actress was found to have achieved weight loss through a kimchi diet, demand for Korean kimchi has become widespread.
Chinese power bloggers, called “wanghong,” also contributed to the popularity of Korean kimchi after introducing the fermented dish on a series of eating shows online.
Chinese consumers are sharing these videos on social networks, expressing their fervor for Korean kimchi, aT said.
Some of them are making Korean kimchi themselves after looking up instruction videos by Korean influencers.
“Chinese consumers look at Korean kimchi as a perfect side dish that can provide enough nutrients in a single meal,” said aT.
“Chinese consumers who had plenty of chance to familiarize themselves with Korean food thanks to the Korean Wave are more than willing to use kimchi to cook Korean dishes themselves.”
Korean kimchi exports to China in 2018 came to 121 tons, growing by an average of 161.2 percent each year since 2014.
“The market is expected to grow as Korean kimchi is gaining more publicity in China,” said aT. “We need to focus on the signature qualities of Korean kimchi in order to increase exports.”
The trade organization proposed diversification of kimchi products, introduction of small packages, better design, and new kimchi-derived dishes as potential solutions for the Chinese market.
M. H. Lee (email@example.com)