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CJ begins production of kimchi in Australia, US

By Park Se-ra

Published : April 14, 2024 - 13:43

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CJ CheilJedang’s Australian (left) and North American kimchi (right) (CJ CheilJedang) CJ CheilJedang’s Australian (left) and North American kimchi (right) (CJ CheilJedang)

CJ CheilJedang said Sunday that it has started local production of kimchi, under the brand Bibigo, in Australia, while reformulating its existing kimchi products exported from Korea to the country.

The company is responding to growing demand for freshly pickled kimchi in Australia by using local ingredients, distinguishing these products from those conventionally made in Korea for export.

The new locally sourced and manufactured Bibigo Sliced Kimchi, now available in Australia, comes in two sizes, 400 grams and 900 grams.

"With the localization of Bibigo Kimchi's production in Oceania, we are not only meeting local tastes, but also promoting Korean culinary culture more broadly,” said Cha Eugene, managing director and head of CJ CheilJedang Oceania.

The food firm also has reformulated 10 existing kimchi products for export, using advanced fermentation technology to improve shelf life and texture. These updated products launched in local ethnic markets in February and are now available in some Woolworths locations from this month.

CJ CheilJedang has also expanded its production capabilities in North America by acquiring a local kimchi manufacturer. This expansion comes as kimchi sales in the region increased by over 40 percent last year. It plans to introduce a new product line to further penetrate mainstream markets, the company said.

Meanwhile, CJ CheilJedang has been pushing the international presence of its kimchi, exporting to more than 50 countries, including the US, Japan, Vietnam and Australia.

Last year, global sales of Bibigo kimchi saw some 20 percent increase on-year, with notable growth of 31 percent and 25 percent in Japan and Europe, respectively. Notably, Bibigo commands over 62 percent of the kimchi market share in Vietnam and has secured its presence in major retailers such as Costco across Europe.

"The public's interest in Bibigo kimchi likely stems from our patented lactobacillus and carefully selected ingredients," said Lim Hee-jeong, leader of the global strategic products team at CJ CheilJedang. "Our diverse, localized product lines, which include innovations such as coriander kimchi and vegan options, are tailored to meet the specific demands of each market, driving our expansion efforts."