The quintessential Korean dish Kimchi is in crisis at home due to large amounts being imported from China and changing tastes among the younger generation, the Guardian reported last Saturday.
"Despite its growing popularity in restaurants from Los Angeles to London, Korea's national dish is in crisis in its country of origin," the U.K. daily said.
Imported kimchi from China, which is almost impossible to distinguish from the genuine article, dominates the market, and young people are turning away from traditional food.
Korea exported US$89.2 million worth of Kimchi last year, down 16 percent from the previous year. Meanwhile, kimchi imports from China increased six percent to US$177.4 million. Korea's kimchi deficit against Chinese imports has been growing since 2006.
Currently, 2 million tons of kimchi are being consumed in Korea each year, and 95 percent of the population eat kimchi at least once a day. But interest is waning among younger people.
Yet despite struggles at home, kimchi is becoming more popular around the globe. It was named one of the top 10 food trends of 2013 by Forbes magazine.