Posted by Dale Buss on October 22, 2010 04:25 PM
With such Korean non-food brands as Hyundai, Kia, LG and Samsung riding high in the American market, the South Korean government sees a juicy opportunity to promote another native product: Korean pears.
And in creating an appetite for its pears among American consumers searching for new taste sensations, Korea may already have won over two significant allies: Both Costco and Whole Foods Markets are reportedly interested in stocking the fruit in some of their stores.
Korean pears tend to be larger and rounder than Western pears. But like all pears, they are high in water and fiber, quenching thirst and aiding in digestion. The pear marketers are touting them as great products for innovative restaurant chefs as well.
Executives of Korea’s National Agricultural Cooperative Federation were in Orlando promoting their pears at the recent Fresh Summit trade show. The federation is “embarking on a multifaceted educational campaign to teach people in the United States about the healthful benefits of the Korean Pear and about the unique and laborious process that goes into harvesting each and every pear,” Jong-hak Kim, managing director, told Brandchannel.com.
The Korean group hopes to mimic the success that Japan had in introducing the Fuji apple to U.S. supermarket produce departments in the 1980s. New to American shelves only 30 years ago, by 2003 Fujis ranked at No. 4 on the U.S. Apple Association’s popularity gauge.
Only time will tell if Korean pears can repeat the Fuji success story. But Korean agricultural officialscan look to the recent success of other native wares in cracking U.S. markets, and keep on shaking the tree.