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Processed food exports to China up 18% in 2015

Korean processed food exports to China saw a nearly 20 percent increase in 2015 despite an overall drop in total China-bound exports, data showed Sunday.

According to figures released by the Korea International Trade Association, Korea exported $623 million of processed food to China last year. This showed an 18.2 percent increase from the previous year‘s $527 million. 


Processed food was the only product category that grew by double digits last year. Total shipments from Korea to China fell 5.6 percent to $137.1 billion. 

Korean processed foods are gaining traction in the food world’s hottest market on premium marketing tactics, experts said. 

According to Hyundai Research Institute analyst Park Ae-ran, Korean brands’ high-quality image appeals to upper-class consumers, young consumers and quality-seeking female consumers within China -- three major target groups. 

Korean food exports to China are focused on higher-end products, targeting the growing group of Chinese buyers who consider safety and quality in food consumption, the Korea Institute for Industrial Economics & Trade said. 

The Chinese food market is estimated to reach $1.5 trillion in 2016, with Korea’s share at the end of 2015 just about 1.5 percent, experts said.

By Won Ho-jung (