Thursday, December 17, 2009


Korean food industry with an annual turnover of about $ 100 billion at present is anticipated to grow by 50% in a decade's time and the government there is in the process of injecting about $ 4.3 billion in the next 3 years to strengthen this sector. Though it is not a major exporter of foods, annual exports which stand at $ 3.8 billion is will reach more than $ 10 billion by 2010. Korea currently spends about 0.38% of the food industry turnover on R & D which may reach 1.2 % soon, emphasizing the importance attached to innovations and new development activities.

"On the global stage, the food industry reaches $4 trillion overall and is bigger than the auto and information technology industries. Growing interest and the importance of food safety across the world shows prospects are positive for more growth in this industry. Korea's food businesses, however, are not mature enough to compete globally. Of its 8,500 food makers, more than 90 percent have less than 50 employees. Sales for Korean companies average at 5.7 billion won, and averaged annual sales of restaurants and eateries here are tallied at 930 million won ($80,485), lagging behind that of Japan with $361,092 or the United States with $511,000. Only eight local makers post annual sales over 1 trillion won. Korea's exports of processed food amounted to $1.9 billion last year, with some 40 countries ahead of it".

One of the redeeming features of future planning in the food sector in Korea is the importance attached to traditional condiments and fermented foodstuffs and priority accorded to development of Kimchi, Chilli sauce and Bean paste. A new food R & D program is proposed to be set up under Institute for Kimchi to deal with traditional foods, for which Korea is well known.


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