South Korean food export boom: Kimchi and ramen lead charge with massive growth even through COVID-19

South Korea
Published Sep 17, 2020

Tridge summary

South Korean has seen a massive boom in its food exports even through the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak with local food items kimchi and ramen leading the charge, according to new statistics released by the government.

Original content

The South Korean Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (MAFRA) announced earlier this month that the country’s total agri-food exports from January to August 2020 had increased by 4.9% in value year-on-year to hit US$4.85mn. Amongst these, traditional South Korean side dish kimchi (salted and fermented vegetables) was the top grower, rising 40.3% to hit US$97.9mn in export value, followed by another traditional local food – ramen, which grew 36.7% year-on-year to hit US$405.4mn in export value. “Even through the difficult situations faced such as the global economic downturn caused by COVID-19, South Korea has [managed to thrive] by selecting strategic food items to actively promote via non-face to face or online marketing, which led [to this success],”​ said MAFRA minister Kim Hyeon-Soo. “There was increased global interest in kimchi during COVID-19 [due to the perceived health benefits associated with] such fermented foods, and we further moved to actively target new ...
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