SEJONG, Feb. 19 (Yonhap) — South Korean food companies are setting their sights on the growing Muslim food and beverage markets that promise to generate future growth for the industry, the government said Friday.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said 41 local companies will participate in the upcoming Gulfood 2016 fair in Dubai to showcase their products.
The five-day exhibition, slated to start on Sunday, is the world’s second-largest after Cologne’s Anuga food fair and usually draws some 90,000 buyers and 4,800 food producers from around the world.
The ministry said the Muslim market, which includes many Middle East and Southeast Asian countries, has a population of 1.6 billion. The market has good growth potential because South Korean companies have for the most part been slow to tap its potential, it added.
“Local companies will set up booths within the Korea pavilion and show off such products as citrus tea, sweet persimmons, pears, various mushrooms, ginseng products and snacks,” it said. “They plan to operate free tasting stands and hold cooking performances to attract interest.”
Companies will focus on showcasing the high quality of local food products to win customers with state-run Korea Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corporation to provide assistance in helping local companies arrange talks with potential buyers, the ministry said.
The latest push to expand their presence in the Muslim food market comes as more and more food companies are winning halal food processing certificates, allowing them to sell to Muslims.
The term halal refers to food and beverages that are prepared in accordance with Islamic Sharia law, and can be consumed by Muslims.