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KGC (Korea Ginseng Corp.) unveils ‘World Map of Red Ginseng’ based on overseas export performance

KGC(Korea Ginseng Corp.) unveiled the ‘World Map of Red Ginseng’, which selected the bestsellers by country based on the overseas market sales of CheongKwanJang Red Ginseng last year to mark the new year, 2022.

‘Everytime’, a stick-type red ginseng product that is easy to carry and eat, ranked first in sales in six Asian regions, including Japan.As red ginseng, the originator of K-food, has established itself as a popular gift in Asia where New Year’s holidays are celebrated, demand in overseas markets is also increasing. Growing interest in health worldwide, as well as increasing awareness due to the influence of K-drama, seems to have driven the market due to an increase in the influx of the younger generation. The diversification of sales channels through e-commerce along with product variation also had an impact.

The overseas export performance of KGC, Korea’s leading red ginseng manufacturing company, is also remarkable. Compared to the annual sales in ’19, before the outbreak of Covid-19, ’20 increased by 4.8%, and the accumulated sales in the third quarter of ’21 also increased by about 20% compared to ’19’s annual sales.

<“Tinghao Red Ginseng” top sales by country is mainland China, and the most popular product is ‘Korean Red Ginseng Roots’>

Mainland China accounts for the largest share of the overseas red ginseng market. Mainland China has historically referred to red ginseng produced in Korea as ‘Koryo Ginseng’ and recognized it as a high-end medicinal product.

‘Korean Red Ginseng Roots’ sold in mainland China has been recognized for its quality, and it has established itself as a preferred brand that consumers purchase for their health and gifts around them.

In mainland China, where the Lunar New Year culture is similar to Korea, sales in January and February account for more than 20% of annual sales. ‘Korean Red Ginseng Roots’, the top-selling product, also sells more than 20% during the Lunar New Year. There is a culture of filial piety similar to that of Korea, so it is often visited as a gift for the elderly.

In the case of Taiwan region and Hong Kong region, there was a big perception, ‘a product for the elderly that has good medicinal effects but is expensive’, but it is analyzed that after the launch of a stick-type red ginseng product ‘Everytime’, the impression of red ginseng in the market has completely changed.

In Taiwan region, ‘Everytime’ ranked first in sales with a market share of 38%, playing a significant role in transforming the root ginseng-oriented market into a product-oriented market. While maintaining the excellent efficacy of red ginseng, it succeeded in emphasizing portability and convenience of intake, targeting office workers in their 30s. Through these efforts, sales in Taiwan region, in 2020, surged 259% compared to 2017, achieving remarkable growth. The region also shows a high proportion of sales during the Lunar New Year period, accounting for 19-20% of annual sales.

In Hong Kong region, the love of red ginseng is also outstanding. From a long time ago, the Hong Kong region was famous for its ginseng hub, which imported Korean ginseng from Korea and distributed around the world. Awareness and acceptance of traditional medicines in Hong Kong region are high to the extent that a market for traditional Chinese medicine, which is larger than Korea’s medicinal market, has been formed.

In Hong Kong region, ‘Everytime’ ranks first in sales, too. The recognition that it is a hit product in Korea and the convenience of ingestion are well received, and it seems that all age groups purchase it for self-consumption. It is followed by pomegranate sticks and aronia products containing red ginseng.

<The hot Korean wave brings the popularity of Korean red ginseng in Southeast Asia, especially there is a strong growth in Singapore and Vietnam>

Among the countries to which red ginseng is exported, the countries with high growth in recent years are Southeast Asian regions such as Singapore, Vietnam, and Malaysia. As various K-contents are popular due to the Korean wave, Korean red ginseng products are also well received by locals.

In Singapore and Malaysia, Chinese consumers are the main consumers, and they have a basic understanding of ginseng.

Singapore also showed the highest proportion of ‘Everytime’ sales. Although it is an Asian country, there is no objection to accepting new things as it is a place where various ethnic groups live together and the cultures of East and West intersect. In Malaysia, too, Chinese consumers are the main consumer group, and sales occur most during the new year(January 1st), the biggest holiday. ‘Everytime’ also took the top spot in local sales. This is because Korean dramas are very popular and interest in ‘Everytime’, which frequently appeared as a PPL in the work, has increased in the local area.

Vietnam has a high preference for Korean ginseng and considers it the most luxurious and precious healthy gift. In Vietnam, ‘Everytime’ is selling the most. As the percentage of the young population is high, they prefer products that are easy to carry and eat. During the biggest holiday in Vietnam, TET (the 1st day of the lunar calendar), it was popular with locals as a top-quality healthy gift and ranked first among ginseng products in Vietnam’s online market. ‘Red Ginseng Tablet’, which contains 100% red ginseng concentrate, was popular as a luxury gift and took second place.

Japanese consumers place importance on the quality of products, and after purchasing a small amount for experience, they show a tendency to purchase on a regular basis only when they judge that it is suitable for them.

‘Everytime’, a stick-type red ginseng product, is also popular in Japan. In the past, red ginseng tablets in the form of pills were sold a lot, but recently, the younger generation, who have often seen eating stick-type red ginseng through Korean dramas, are enjoying this more and more.

<In the US, the largest market outside of Asian countries, ‘Red Ginseng Extract’ ranks first in the U.S. for its large capacity and excellent efficacy>

Excluding Asian countries, the United States is the world’s largest ginseng product market and ginseng exporter. CheongKwanJang is also working hard on the local market by setting up more than 30 stores across the United States.

In September of last year, CheongKwanJang opened the Ginseng Museum Cafe, an experiential store in Manhattan, New York. This is a place where foreigners who are somewhat unfamiliar with red ginseng can experience and explain the history and efficacy of Korean ginseng.

Although the majority of visitors to the store are Asians, non-Asians also keep coming. In particular, the response to the ‘Red Ginseng Roots Liquid’ made daily at the store is good. The taste is not as bitter as expected, and the fact that it is made in-house is highly appreciated.

The most popular product in the local market is ‘Red Ginseng Extract’, a red ginseng concentrate. Compared to the vast territory of the United States, there are not many stores, so the consumers prefer products that can be eaten for a long time once purchased. ‘Red Ginseng Extract’ has a capacity of 240g and can be consumed for about 3 months, and has the rich taste and aroma of red ginseng, so it is also called an essential item for middle-aged Koreans in US.

Australia and Russia, and ‘Red Ginseng Extract’ in the Middle East>

In Australia, ‘Hong Sam Won’, a drink-type product, took the top spot in sales. By entering a large distribution store such as Costco, the experience is widened, and the taste is mild, so it is perfect for locals to increase their familiarity with red ginseng. 2nd place was ‘Red Ginseng Extract’.

‘Hong Sam Won’ is the best-selling product in Russia as well. It tastes similar to the traditional Russian drink (kvass) and is said to be good for health, and is popular with locals. It is popular with local women over 40.

The most popular product in the Middle East is ‘Red Ginseng Extract’ in the form of a concentrate.

<Visible results by diversifying sales channels through product development and e-commerce>

In the ‘World Map of Red Ginseng’, different countries have different cultures of eating red ginseng, and the types of products they prefer are also various. Although red ginseng has a long history of advancing overseas to be called the progenitor of K-food, it suffered from difficulties due to many regulations on health food by country. Recently, various red ginseng products have been developed, and tangible results are showing as product registration and market development have been steadily carried out.

In particular, as online shopping has become more active after Covid-19, red ginseng sales are increasing significantly, mainly through e-commerce. KGC is also changing all the homepages of its overseas subsidiaries to online shopping malls and expanding sales of CheongKwanJang products to large overseas online commerce sites such as Tmall, Amazon, Lazada, and Shopee.

“Red ginseng is a cultural pride of Korea and a significant legacy passed down by our ancestors,” said Kim Nae-soo, a director of Global CIC at KGC. He added, “We will do our best to promote our red ginseng to the world with a sense of duty as a representative.”

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