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 announced that they held the “2013 K-Food Fair in Hong Kong” from November 21 to 23 to reinforce entry into Hong Kong and its neighboring markets and create a Korean food boom in this markets.
Unlike the previous stereotypical fairs centered on exhibitions and consultations, K-Food Fair is a universal exhibition of a new type, which visits promising markets to promote Korean agri-food and provide consultation and experiential events. K-Food Fair is a strategic export marketing event that presents both export consultation and consumer experiential events at the same time in major export destinations in order to create demand for Korean agri-food.
This year, the fair was successfully held in Shanghai (June) and Chongqing (November) in China; Hanoi in Vietnam (September); and Los Angeles and New York in the U.S. (October), and this Hong Kong fair was the final one in 2013. The theme of this fair was “K-Food = Premium + Healthy” and its slogan was “A Brand-new Healthy Trend, K-Food”. With this theme and slogan, the Korean government hopes to get closer to the buyers and consumers (visitors) in Hong Kong and its neighboring countries. The basic goal of the Korean Food Fair is to create an interest in Korean agri-food from consumers and visitors in Hong Kong and lead them to get accustomed to Korean agrifood while promoting the superiority and health-orientation of Korean agrifood.
An export conference (November 21) was held at the Renaissance Harbor View Hotel where 30 Korean exporters and more than 50 promising buyers from many countries including Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and Philippines were linked through one-on-one matching. In addition, export consultation and exhibition of various foods including items preferred by Hong Kong consumers such as fresh food (fruits, mushrooms, etc.), ginseng and banana milk were held. The consumer experiential event (November 22-23) was held at Wonderful World of Whampoa, a popular shopping place in Hong Kong, and provided a place where consumers can experience various cultural events as well as taste agri-food products of Korean exporters.
In line with the fair’s slogan “A Brand-new Healthy Trend, K-Food”, another opportunity was provided to enjoy the variety of interesting Korean agri-food experiential events (kimchi, sprout bibimbap, and vegetable sandwich making, etc.). It also provided various attractions and experiential events such as fusion of Korean traditional music, K-pop dance and lion dance, to promote Korean culture.
The agri-food export to Hong Kong in 2012 reached 269 million dollars in sales, the fourth largest following Japan, China and the U.S. The export growth rate has increased 24.7% from a year earlier (as of the end of October 2013). Hong Kong is the major destination for export of Korean major agrifood items including strawberries, fruits, mushrooms, dairy products, ginseng, chicken, noodles, liquor, and biscuits. It is a promising market for export of Korean agrifood as it is an open business city with diverse Eastern and Western cultures work in harmony. The Korean government expects that this Hong Kong fair make an effective foundation for expanding the export of Korean agri-food by further impressing buyers and consumers in Hong Kong and Southeastern China with the good image of Korean agrifood based on its superiority and safety.
Date submitted: December 8, 2013
Reviewed, edited and uploaded: December 11, 2013