The American Future of Korean Food Products
After Japan and China, the third biggest market for Korean food products is the United States. That is according to Korea Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corp, Korea’s leading organization for the globalization of Korean agricultural and fishery products. The trend was observed to be on the rise at the rate of 10% average yearly in the last 10 years. The export of Korean food products like kimchi, gochujang and seaweed are already growing and gaining foothold in the American market signaling that other products can be on the way to becoming mainstream in the US.
Recently, at the 2-day September K-FOOD FAIR New York, a juried collection of more than 28 exporters and 100 plus unique products from Korea were showcased to American attendees. It was organized by the South Korean Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs. It paved the way for direct meetings and sampling opportunities that were promising enough to merit its annual holding from hence.
There were new and interesting food and beverage products, that were also health-giving and delicious, that retail stores, restaurants and other distribution channels can introduce to American consumers.
And how did Korean food imports become so popular in the US market? Consumers have become familiar with Korean eats from restaurant experiences, buying from food trucks and watching television cooking shows. They have developed the taste for Korean tacos, Korean fried chicken and bibimbap. Young children bring along Korean snacks to share in their lunch boxes. Also, more people are discovering the health benefits of Korean ingredients, like kimchi, red ginseng, aloe drinks, Korean pears, Korean mushrooms, Hamyang bitter melon products, among others.
Restaurant chefs in New York, in particular, use Korean base ingredients well, such as fermented soybean paste and chili paste, seaweed, tofu, dry-aged persimmon, and a variety of kimchi to recreate new dishes. Chefs discover the Korean techniques of fermentation, aging and pickling ingredients, and then using those techniques to craft new creations, going beyond typical Korean dishes. Now, due to the adventurous taste and the inclination to acquire new tastes and concepts, Korean food makers are targeting millennials, they who easily connect to new products and experiences.
Learning To Love Korean in UW Seattle
One of the best ways to get introduced to Korean culture and cuisine is to try out popular neighborhood restaurants that serve a variety of Korean selections. Stop by your UW Korean spot, the Korean Tofu House, to first-hand experience kimchi, bibimbap, tofu, and barbecue. It’s not to be forgotten.