By Kim Soo-yeon
SEOUL, June 11 (Yonhap) -- It's not just funny or tongue-in-cheek wordplay. Rather, it is a highly calibrated marketing strategy ironed out by South Korean foodmakers here to mainly target the important clan of young customers.
Brand collaboration is not something new in the segment, but the food industry is currently expanding the scope of partnership with other sectors -- sports, fashion and cosmetics, you name it.
CJ Cheiljedang Corp., South Korea's largest food company, has teamed up with the Hanwha Eagles, a professional baseball team, to release a limited edition of spicy dumpling this week.
The name of the product has the connotation of spicy flavors and Eagles fans' passion as the Korean term describing burning flames shares a similar pronunciation to the English word "eagle."
"On top of the MZ generation, we've targeted baseball fans who have to watch the game at home due to the new coronavirus outbreak," an official at CJ Cheiljedang said.
The MZ generation refers to those born between 1980 and the early 2000s as a combination of millennials and Generation Z. Local retailers are scrambling to catch a new group of consumers who do not hesitate to spend money for personal satisfaction.
BGF Retail Co., which operates convenient store chain CU, released the Gom Pyo wheat beer in late May via a partnership with flour maker Daehan Flour Mills Corp. and brewery SevenBrau Beer Corp.
Gom Pyo, which means bear brand, is a signature flour brand of Daehan Flour. The flour producer, established in 1952, has been aggressively expanding collaborative marketing with fashion and cosmetics companies in a bid to enhance its brand image.
Sales of Gom Pyo beer hit the 300,000 mark just seven days after its release, according to CU. The beer hit the market on the popularity of the namesake popcorn sold by CU.
"Collaborative marketing mainly targets the MZ generation that views a combination of brands as fun. In the case of the beer, demand from people in their 30s and 40s remains high," a BGF Retail official said.
Noodle and beverage maker Paldo Co. joined hands with budget cosmetics brand Missha to produce Paldo BB Cream Noodle early this year.
The product added cream-flavored powder to its signature product of spicy "Bibim" noodle. Its name looks intriguing as it reminds people of a makeup base cream, called BB cream.
A 31-year-old office worker surnamed Kim said collaborative marketing appears to be drawing consumers' curiosity, citing his experience eating Baskin Robbins' banana-flavored ice cream.
Ice cream franchise Baskin Robbins, which is operated by South Korea's food and beverage giant SPC Group, unveiled ice cream and cake sprinkled with the country's top instant noodle maker Nongshim's hit snack "Banana Kick" in April.
"It is fun that a new product came to being with snacks that I used to enjoy during my childhood," Kim said.
Korean actor Lee Sun-kyun nominated for best actor at Int'l Emmys for "Dr. Brain"
(LEAD) No Korean victims reported from Indonesian stadium tragedy: foreign ministry
State auditor notifies ex-Pres Moon of written investigation over death of fisheries official
Yoon's approval rating drops after hot mic incident: poll
Unification minister says N. Korea trying to tame S. Korean government, grab U.S. attention