Creative Flavors “Taste Marketing” of Korean Snacks

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It is now easy to find Korean snack coming out in varying flavors. A customer is contemplating which flavor to pick at Hannam Chain’s snack section.

Choco Pie no longer just comes in one kind. Melona is no longer an ice cream with only the melon flavor.

Taste marketing has been one of the most popular ways to promote snacks for Korean brands in recent months. Even the snack products that have been “best sellers” with just one flavor are now diversifying themselves to expand their customer base.

For Orion’s Choco Pie, a variety of flavors including banana and matcha latte have been introduced in addition to the original. Orion’s competitor Lotte Confectionery also recently released cacao, banana and green tea flavors. Even Pepero has moved away from its traditional stick-figure appearance to almond, chocolate-filled, white cookie, chocolate cookie, double-dip strawberry and green tea flavors recently.

Such a trend is not just exclusive to snacks. Milk-flavored beverage Milkis has also added mango, strawberry and pineapple flavors. Ice cream Melona has also added strawberry, banana and mango flavors. Bingre’s famous Banana Flavored Milk is now also available in strawberry and melon flavors.

“The recent trend started from South Korea where the public is now attracted to having options when shopping for snacks,” said Bingre publicist Yong-guk Cho. “For items, we export to other countries, we try to diversify the tastes even more to reflect the needs of our market. We’re already selling Melona in five different flavors, but we’re considering adding more flavors for our U.S. market in the near future.”

Galleria Market manager Ryan Park said: “The trend is reflecting the diversifying demands of today’s consumers. We did notice that many consumers first prefer to try new flavors out of curiosity, but eventually go back to the original flavor. This has been true even among non-Korean consumers.”

Park added that his explanation is one of the reasons as to why original flavors still take up at least 50 percent of the sales volume for each item.

“There’s definitely some fun involved in choosing out of many available options,” said one Koreatown resident in his 20s. “I don’t necessarily drink green tea often, but it’s easier to consume when the flavor is added onto snacks.”

By Jiyoung Kim