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Food News Clipping

December 3- 6, 2023


FAS/Seoul Monitoring of Media Reporting on Agricultural Issues 

Today's Date: Friday,  December 8,  2023

For Coverage:  December 3 ~ 6, 2023

Bacterial Soft Rot in the Cabbage Field... Next Year, the Spread of Disease is a Concern
Summary:  Although fall harvest has ended, you can still find fields of rotting cabbage.  This year, the cabbage crop was hit hard with soft rot, and in Pyeongchang, a farm's entire cabbage harvest has decayed.  Since they can’t sell the cabbage, the farmers can’t afford to harvest the rotten cabbage, so they have opted to leave it in the fields.  Experts warn that leaving the rotten cabbages could perpetuate bacterial soft rot into the following year because the root-blight pathogens in the soil are more likely to survive.  By leaving the cabbage, and the roots, in the ground, there is a higher chance the pathogens will survive the winter and cause disease again.

Lotte Chilsung and E&J Gallo Make a Business Agreement... "Soju Targeting the U.S. Market"
Summary:  Lotte Chilsung, a beverage company, has set its sights on the U.S. market by forging a Memorandum of Understanding with E&J GALLO, an American winery.  This collaboration involves E&J GALLO assisting Lotte Chilsung in marketing their soju products for sale in the American market.  The agreement aims to bolster the partnership between the two companies as they support each other in their respective endeavors.

Frozen Food that Combines Taste, Quality, and Price... Continues to Grow Rapidly
Summary:  The rise in demand for ready-to-eat meals at home has sparked a growing interest in the frozen food industry.  Recent data from Statistics Korea and the Korea Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corporation indicates a 5.2 percent increase in domestic frozen food manufacture scale from 2020 to 2021, followed by a 4.4 percent rise from 2021 to 2022.  Notably, the frozen soup market has seen a remarkable surge, growing by 63.5 percent between 2021 and 2022.  The consumer preference towards frozen soups is attributed to advancements in freezing technology, which helps retain a significant portion of the nutritional value by instantly freezing the food.  Frozen desserts are still the leading category in the frozen convenience food market but has been decreasing by an average of 8 percent each year since 2020.

The First Case of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza This Winter Among Wild Birds Has Been Detected in Jeonbuk Province
Summary:  The outbreak of Avian Influenza (AI) in Jeonbuk province has prompted neighboring Gyeongbuk province to implement preventive measures.  Gyeongbuk province is home to 414 avian farms, housing various birds like chickens and ducks.  The detection of highly pathogenic H5N1 AI in a wild duck in Jeonbuk Province has elevated the country’s alert status to 'Serious.'  Consequently, Gyeongbuk province, known for its avian population, has been mandated by the government to restrict bird pasture to minimize inter-exposure and transmission.

Famous Frozen Kimbap in America... Imported in Reverse
Summary:  Frozen kimbap has recently gained popularity in the United States, even securing a spot in Trader Joe's supply chain.  This version of kimbap garnered attention through social media reviews.  Priced at $3.99 each, it's a vegetarian option due to the company's limitations of exporting a product

including meat.  Interestingly, this exported Korean kimbap to the U.S. is now creating a buzz back in Korea.  Some suppliers have managed to import the same frozen kimbap back to Korea and are selling it in hypermarkets.  As consumer prices rise, there's a growing preference for frozen, convenient meal options.

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Agricultural Trade Office, U.S. Embassy - Seoul
Tel: 82-2-6951-6848 Fax: 82-2-720-7921