[Blog] Korea: An Important Destination for Scottish Food and Drink Exports

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[Blog] Korea: An Important Destination for Scottish Food and Drink Exports

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Some may be surprised to find out that Korea was the fourth fastest growing food and drink (F&D) exports market by value for the UK in 2017. British F&D exports to South Korea grew 55% year on year, and the upward trend is expected to continue. The depreciation of the pound has made products more affordable, and this has particularly boosted export figures. With whisky, salmon and beer being the top export items, all associated closely with Scotland. The country is a major market of interest for Korean retailers and their consumers.

World’s Largest Fish Consumption Market

According to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Korea ranked first in terms of consumption of fish and fishery products in 2016 followed by Norway and Japan respectively. In that year, per capita consumption of fishery products in Korea amounted to 58.4kg, whereas the global average consumption was 20.2kg. The reasons behind this are the emergence of health-conscious dietary trends amongst Korean consumers, the intake of high quality protein and healthy fats, and the growing popularity of home meal replacement (HMR) that contains seafood. A combination of these trends is driving the demand for fish and fishery products which is in turn creating opportunities for foreign exporters of such products.

Rise in Demand for Heathier Food – Opportunities for Scottish Fish

To capture this emerging opportunity in the healthy foods market, Korean hypermarkets are seeking to work with overseas suppliers whose products could cater to the ever-sophisticated tastes of such consumers. In particular, producers of salmon and mackerel have a strong opportunity to sell into the market, particularly those who do not use antibiotics or growth hormones in the farming of such produce.

Imported UK Beers Making Strong Inroads into Korea

Beer imports have risen greatly in the last couple of years as young consumers seek to diversify their consumption. Imported beers now account for 55.5% of the total beer sales in convenient stores, outselling domestic competitors. A new social trend of drinking alone at home, instead of going to bars for costly drinks, has also contributed to the rapid growth of beer imports. Consumers are increasingly demanding more diverse beers, and particularly craft beers where domestic options have failed to satisfy their ever-more sophisticated tastes. Scottish brewery Brewdog reported a sales growth of 226% year-on-year in July 2017.

Do you produce products which could do well in Korea? Well, you could be the next success story! Contact the BCCK (trade@bcck.or.kr) to hear more about such opportunities and how we can help you to realise them.

Posted by BCCK  Posted on 22 Jan 
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