Kimchi Makers Target U.S., Europe with Milder Versions

  • By Song Hye-jin

    March 30, 2022 13:13

    Korean food makers are looking to attract customers in the U.S. and Europe by selling mild kimchi that is less spicy than the varieties sold here.

    Daesang, which manufactures the Jonggajip brand of the staple side dish, said Tuesday that it completed a 10,000 sq.m kimchi factory near Los Angeles, the largest of its kind so far in the U.S. The W20-billion plant can produce 2,000 tons of kimchi a year (US$1=W1,217).

    The U.S. factory will produce mild kimchi targeting U.S. and European customers. One version will be made using jeotgal, a kind of salted fish similar to anchovies, while a vegan version will exclude the fermented ingredient.

    Daesang said it will make other varieties of kimchi using cabbage, kale, carrots and beets. A Daesang staffer said, "We intend to use the U.S. market as a springboard for global sales."

    The food company aims to generate W100 billion in kimchi sales alone in the U.S. by 2025.

    CJ Cheiljedang, which manufactures the Bibigo brand of kimchi, plans to expand kimchi exports after it recently started selling its products at H Mart, a major supermarket chain offering Korean foods in the U.S.

    CJ Cheiljedang will also market its own version of mild kimchi and open a U.K. office to target the European market. A company staffer said, "The U.K. became the fifth-largest kimchi importer last year after overtaking Australia, while sales have increased 50 percent in the Netherlands since the COVID-19 pandemic started. We will make kimchi that caters to European tastes to increase sales."

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