Business opportunity
Market area:

Growing Korean market for Finnish premium food

The Korean food market is currently characterised by a growing interest for safe and healthy food as well as convenient online grocery shopping. Together with the rise in disposable household incomes, these trends create a growing market for quality products such as natural food from Finland.
An increasing number of Korean consumers are willing to spend money on good quality and healthy food as they are becoming more conscious of the food products’ origin and content. This accelerating market for premium products is visible in such products’ recent value growth on the Korean market.

According to Euromonitor, the value of “better-for-you” products grew by 55.9 % between the years 2011 and 2016 while “naturally healthy” products grew by 40.9 % and organic products experienced the most significant value growth of 77.7 %.

At the same time, convenient online grocery shopping is trending as an increasing number of Korean women is working, which means that the families have more money but less time for cooking. As a result, both existing and new internet retailers increasingly start to offer food products and drinks with home delivery.

This popularity is reflected by the value of F&B retailing growing with 15 % between 2016 and 2017. The internet retail sales of food and drinks also grew by 97 % in real terms between the years 2011 and 2016.

Clean Finnish food fill the Korean demands

As an answer to the demand, Korean food and beverage companies now increasingly seek produce that could be described as organic, natural, healthy and wild and that has no additives or preservatives. Here Finnish suppliers have a competitive advantage as the country’s clean nature and high-quality food products have a good reputation in the Korean food industry.
Finnish companies could for example compete with the following products:

  • Organic berry/berry-based products and ingredients (powder, smoothie, juice, jam, etc.).
  • Premium meat.
  • Premium cheese.
  • Super grains such as oats, cereal or confectionery (grain cookies & snacks, etc.).
  • Other healthy food products.
  • Baby food.

Enter the market with Food from Finland

To facilitate the market entry for Finnish companies, Business Finland has approached Korea with a joint offering. The Food from Finland program, together with Business Finland in Korea, has presented Finnish food and beverage products to Korean companies, media and other stakeholders at several events in both Korea and Finland.

Now the program will organise a Finland country pavilion during the Seoul Food & Hotel exhibition, held in South Korea from 1-4.5.2018. This exhibition is an opportunity for the participating companies to meet with key importers, distributors and industry buyers from retail, catering and the hospitality trade industries across all of Korea.

Following the exhibition in May, Food From Finland is also organizing a retail pop-up store in Lotte Department Store for companies who already have importers in Korea. Lotte Department Store is one of the top department stores in Korea and the pop-up store offers an excellent opportunity for companies that want to market their products and increase their presence in Korea.

For more information about the business opportunity and the Korean market, please contact:

Jani Toivanen
Program Coordinator, Business Finland Seoul
+82 1072653164
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