Spike in Demand for Kimchi Drives Up Exports

The Korea Bizwire입력 2020-05-07

At the height of the novel coronavirus outbreak, exports of Korean food staples have increased with growing demand for kimchi and ramen.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs on Wednesday, Korea’s food exports in the January to April period amounted to US$2.38 billion, up 3.8 percent from a year earlier.

In particular, exports of kimchi, a traditional side dish made of napa cabbage and spicy pepper, rose 30.7 percent on-year to $45.1 million in the January to April period.


Analysts say that the increase in sales is the result of the growing perception in overseas markets that kimchi is a “healthy fermented food.”

Meanwhile, the spread of COVID-19 is adding to the perception that it can provide a boost to the immune system.

Furthermore, ramen exports rose 34.5 percent from last year to $194 million in the January to April period, as marketing linking the Oscar-winning Korean film “Parasite” to hybrid noodle ‘chapaguri‘ was effective.