Korean consumers demand for premium quality juices

Consumption of fresh fruits continues to grow in Korea as more Koreans have become more aware of the health benefits of fruits. Supermarkets and convenient stores are now stocking different varieties of fruits compared to some years ago when most shelf space was reserved for fruits predominantly grown in the country such as strawberries and blueberries.

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.

Wooyang Frozen Foods which targets low salary earners as well as retailers among other consumers, imports IQF strawberries as well as blueberries from China and Chile and the US but the bulk of these imports are processed. They also buy local strawberries where the buying quantity of both imported and local fruits are based on the consumption and quality.

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)
Tel 00-82-10-6353-9372
Email: nanaimo74@gmail.com

Author: Yzza Ibrahim / Rose Wangui

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