October 05, 2011 10:38
Tropical fruits are becoming an increasingly common sight in grocery aisles at supermarkets in Korea.
From bananas and pineapples from the Philippines, to kiwis from New Zealand, imported fruits are much sought after by Korean consumers these days. This is especially the case this year as inclement weather conditions and torrential rains severely affected the domestic fruit harvest, causing Korean shoppers to lean more towards imported alternatives.
According to the Korea Customs Service, fruit imports as of August were up 26 percent from last year. Bananas and oranges are among the favorites, but cherries, mangos and avocados are catching up.
Since 2009, local fruit prices have been rising, while imported fruits have become cheaper due to free trade deals taking effect. With more diversified consumer tastes and the expansion of fruit markets, experts predict that demand for imports will keep growing.
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