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Amazon opens official ‘K-Food Store’ in collaboration with Korean government

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The world’s largest e-commerce platform, Amazon, is now showcasing Korean food products made by small and medium-sized enterprises from South Korea.

According to the Korean Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and the Korea Agro-Fisheries and Food Trade Corporation (aT), the official K-Food Store opened on May 31 as a permanent online store to boost K-food exports.

Earlier this year, from February 15 to March 22, the agriculture ministry and aT called for applications from Korean small and medium enterprises that produce shelf-stable processed food products. Out of the applicants, 47 companies were selected to participate in the K-Food Store on Amazon.

K-Food Store that opened on Amazon [Image captured from Amazon website]

Major corporate giants with significant market shares in packaged Korean food, such as CJ and Nongshim, were not eligible to apply, ensuring the focus remained on smaller enterprises.

The Ministry of Agriculture plans to increase the number of participating companies to 70 by the end of the year. As of June 12, ten Korean companies are selling 20 products through the online store, including perilla oil, soy milk, and home meal replacements (HMR) such as bibimbap.

“About 90 products from 30 companies will be available for sale by September, and by the end of the year, we will increase support to have 70 companies selling more than 300 products at K-Food Store,” said an official from the Korean Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

In the second half of this year, the ministry and aT plan to support the K-Food Store through online advertisements, discount events, and marketing campaigns tied to major U.S. consumer events like Amazon Prime Day and Black Friday.

To help Korean food companies expand their presence on overseas e-commerce platforms, the ministry has been establishing Korean food pavilions on major online retailers and aiding their market entry and promotion.

By last year, 11 Korean food pavilions were opened on international online platforms, including special exhibitions. The ministry aims to add six more pavilions this year, bringing the total to 17.

Additionally, in April, the ministry opened a permanent online Korean food store on Douyin (the Chinese version of TikTok). As of June 12, 104 local subsidiaries and buyers of Korean food companies are selling 231 Korean products, including instant noodles, red ginseng, and beverages. The ministry aims to expand this to 120 companies offering 270 products on Douyin by the end of the year.

BY HOONSIK WOO [woo.hoonsik@koreadaily.com]