According to Jong Wan Kim of Wooyang Frozen Foods Co. Ltd., an importer and distributor of fresh fruits and juices, the demand for fresh juice compared to that of processed juices has also been on the rise and especially among the middle-class population.
“The market is growing as more Koreans are now choosing fresh juice over other soft drinks such as coca cola. Due to the rising demand we are now seeing other fruits such as mangoes in the market which were a bit rare some years back,” explains Jong Wan Kim.
Kim said the company imports only when the quality of produce in Korea is bad as the country also produces its own strawberries and blueberries.
“We buy from the local growers if the quality is good. All that matters is the crop quality, sometimes the crop quality in Chile might be poor compared to what we have here. Even though Wooyang Frozen Foods doesn’t have its own brand of juice in the market, it produces and processes juices for other fresh juice companies in the Korean market," adds Jong Wan Kim.
As an additional, the company imports blueberries. "Korea produces blueberries but it is too expensive to buy. Most fresh blueberries from Korea are being sold directly to local consumers."
Furthermore, Wooyang Frozen Foods is using one of the latest technologies in producing juice known as HPP. "HPP extends shelf life. Normally, the shelf life of fruit juices without preservatives is less than a week only, but treated by HPP, it can last from 15-20 days."
Other fruits available are apples, pears and mangoes mainly imported from Thailand, Vietnam and Philippines.
For more information:
Jong Wan Kim
JW Trading Co. Ltd (South Korea)
Author: Yzza Ibrahim / Rose Wangui