Dr. Jeongbin Im
Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development
College of Agricultural and Life Science
Seoul National University
The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (MAFRA) and Korea Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corporation host the 2013 K-Food Fair USA at Times Square, the heart of New York, USA to promote Korean food in the U.S. market. This consumer experiential event was held in Times Square, NY last October 19 to 20 while the export conference was held in Los Angeles from October 22-23.
Unlike the previous stereotypical fairs which centered on exhibitions and consultations, 2013 K-Food Fair is a universal exhibition of a new type that focuses promising markets, promotes Korean agro-food and provides consultation and experiential events. It is a strategic export promotion project aimed at creating new demand for Korean agro-food in the overseas markets.
The theme of this fair is “K-Food = Premium + Healthy” and its slogan is “Enjoy Together, Taste Every Day.” The strategy is to get closer to demanding customers in the USA, while promoting the superiority and healthiness of Korean agrifood in the market.
The consumer experiential event, which was held in New York City’s world-famous Times Square was a place for experiencing the variety of Korean culture as well as Korean foods and beverages exported to the world. This event made an opportunity to provide the Korean agro-food to global tourists as well as Americans in Times Square, while providing the opportunity to enjoy Korean events such as Kimchi and Gim-bap making as well as other Korean cultural activities including Taekwondo and Samulnori.
Meanwhile, the export conference in Los Angeles aimed to provide an opportunity to expand markets through one-on-one consultation between the Korean exporters and about 80 buyers from the U.S., Canada and Latin America. The Korean exporters of promising items such as sauces and pastes, ginseng, mushrooms and noodles actively participated in the conference to expand their markets in America. The conference venue was designed to look like a traditional Korean house and garden, embracing both tradition and modernity, in an effort to emphasize the premium image of Korean agro-food.
The U.S. market is the third largest destination (US$473 million in 2012) of Korean agro-food exports following Japan and China, and is an important market with huge potential. In the U.S. market, such items as pear, gochujang, beverage and ramen are continuously popular, and their sales channels are expanding to major markets and restaurants. Holding a consumer experiential event in the world-famous Times Square is a great opportunity to show the Korean agro-food and food culture to the world. The Korean government expect this kind of events will contribute to increase the export of Korean agro-food by reinforcing recognition of the superiority and safety of Korean food among buyers and global consumers as well as American consumers.
Date submitted: November 8, 2013
Reviewed, edited and uploaded: November 14, 2013