Korean dried seaweed, cuttlefish snack available broader across US

[South Korea, USA] South Korean seafood items such as dried seaweed will be available at offline and online stores in the United States including Walmart stores and e-commerce giant Amazon from next month, the government said on Monday.

According to the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries and National Federation of Fisheries Cooperatives on Monday, Korean dried seaweed will be sold at 840 Walmart stores across the country for seven months from April to October. Twelve seafood items will become available at online platform Amazon and eBay, including cuttlefish peanut ball snack and individually-packaged dried seaweed.

Korea’s exports of marine products to the U.S. have been on a rise in recent years. The National Federation of Fisheries Cooperatives, in particular, has been putting out efforts to introduce Korean items overseas by managing a trade support center in the U.S. to help Korean small- and mid-size fisheries exporters make inroads into overseas markets. Companies that moved into the support centers, in particular, have seen sales rise recently.

Samhae Commercial Co, for example, best known for its dried seaweed brand Myoungga, moved into the trade support center in Los Angeles in 2017. Last year, it raised $8.8 million in sales from exports thanks to growing popularity of dried seaweed among Americans that see the item as light snack.

Sales of Korean seasoned dried seaweed have been on a rise in the U.S. overall as women in their 30s and 40s regard the item as a healthy snack.

Seafood exporters including The Fish and seaweed manufacturer Haesong Food that moved into the trade support center in Los Angeles and New Jersey, respectively, last year, also raised $140,000 and $600,000 each in exports until last month.

The Fish artificially hibernates gwangeo, or flatfish, for exports based on special technology to can save distribution costs and boost price competitiveness. Haesong Food also gained the hearts of U.S. consumers by introducing various seaweed flavors such as those of kimchi and teriyaki sauce.

The National Federation of Fisheries Cooperatives, meanwhile, attended the three-day Seafood Expo North America in Boston, Massachusetts, that kicked off on March 17. The cooperative managed a Korean booth at the expo attended by 1,300 exhibiting companies from more than 50 countries including Norway and the United Kingdom. It exhibited and promoted Korean seafood items, invited local buyers, and provided export counseling services to 24 Korean companies participating in the expo that was able to raise $25.38 million in sales through 253 meetings.

 

Photo: The National Federation of Fisheries Cooperatives attended the three-day Seafood Expo North America in Boston, Massachusetts that kicked off on March 17 and supported 24 Korean seafood exporters raise sales. [Photo provided by National Federation of Fisheries Cooperatives]

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