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S. Korean foods seek presence in Brazil e-commerce market

All Headlines 10:57 March 04, 2016

SEOUL, March 4 (Yonhap) -- South Korean foods have begun their foray into Brazil's e-commerce market to capitalize on the spreading boom there of "hallyu," or the Korean pop culture wave, a state-run trade promotion agency said Friday.

On Thursday, Korean beverages and snacks went on sale in Brazil's six major online shopping malls, such as Pao de Acucar and Estra, according to the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA).

"OG Company, operating in Sao Paulo and led by a Korean-Brazilian businessman, imports fruit-flavored beverages from Korea, as well as popular snacks, such as Nongshim's Onion Rings and shrimp-made Saewookkang, for Brazilian customers," KOTRA spokesman Lee Seung-soo said.

"It is a small start. But the company plans to also export value-added fashion brands, beauty and cosmetics products depending on local market demands."

KOTRA plans to help OG Company introduce Korean foods and products in other online stores.

OG Company, which has earned 100 billion won (US$83 million) a year by selling Korean foods mainly to 50,000 Koreans residing there, "is now looking to local customers and other Latin American markets, such as Argentina, home to 20,000 Koreans, Peru, Chile and Columbia, three countries where the hallyu boom is in the making," said KOTRA official Lee Jeong-sang, formerly in charge of matters in Brazil.

Compared with Southeast Asian markets that are close to Korea, in fact, it takes a lot more logistics costs to deliver the goods to Brazil. But Brazilians' burgeoning appetite for Korean food and products may make local customers less averse to spending more on Korean products, he said.

In Brazil, the number of local hallyu fans is estimated at 260,000, largely on the growing popularity of K-pop groups. Its e-commerce market is expected to grow to 1.4 trillion won this year from 900 billion won in 2013, according to KOTRA data.

kyongae.choi@yna.co.kr
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