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Kimchi US exports hit a record high this year as the popularity of K-food spikes
Kimchi, the favorite side dish of Koreans, is getting more popular as the interest in it continues to grow around the world. The popularity was also attributed to the boom in K-food, leading to the spike in demand in the United States and other countries.
According to The Korea Economic Daily, the exports of kimchi to the U.S. has been soaring steadily and have now hit $26.7 million worth which is a record high this year. The total number of kimchi exports was recorded from January to November, and the result was a lot higher compared to the same period in the previous years.
South Korea’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs revealed on Monday, Dec. 5, that shipments of kimchi increased by 1.7% on-year from January to November of 2021. Based on volume, exports of the fermented cabbage side dish surged 9.2% from the previous year, and this is equivalent to 7,991 tons.
The MAFRA said that the continued interest in the health benefits of the consumption of kimchi is one reason for the surge in exports. The overall rising interest and popularity of Korean food also played a big role in the boosted demand. As proof of kimchi’s high demand and acceptance in the U.S., four states - Washington, D.C., New York, California, and Virginia have designated Nov. 22 as Kimchi Day in their territories.
Meanwhile, CJ CheilJedang, the maker of the Bibigo kimchi brand, is bringing the product to Europe. The leading food processing firm in S. Korea announced on Monday it has launched its Bibigo-branded sliced kimchi for export in Europe. The company said this has an expiry date of up to one year when stored at room temperature.
CJ CheilJedang revealed it took out the fermented fish ingredient in the kimchi for Europe in consideration to the taste of foreign consumers. The company also used fermentation control technology so the kimchi could maintain the right level of ripening until it lands at the export destination.
Finally, starting this month, CJ CheilJedang will sell its kimchi and other products to the U.K., Germany, Italy, France, and Austria. It is also planning to launch these same products in the Middle East, South American nations, Malaysia, and Oceania in the near future.