South Korea’s Dried Seaweed Exports Reach Record High in 2023

SEOUL - In a remarkable development for South Korea's food industry, the country's exports of dried seaweed, locally known as "gim," have set a new record in 2023. This surge is attributed to the increasing global demand for healthy food options, as indicated by the latest data released on Sunday.

According to Yonhap News Agency, the exports of dried seaweed reached a striking $670 million from January to October, marking a 20.4 percent increase compared to the same period last year. By November 10, the export value escalated to $700 million, surpassing the previous annual record of $690 million set in 2021.

Dried seaweed, a staple in Korean cuisine, is typically roasted with sesame oil and fine salt, serving as a popular side dish. Its growing popularity as a snack among international consumers has contributed significantly to this export growth. The Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries credits this surge to the global trend of consuming low-calorie and healthy snacks, with dried seaweed fitting this category perfectly.

In terms of export destinations, the United States leads with purchases worth $150 million, followed closely by Japan with $140 million, and China with $90 million. These figures reflect the broadening appeal of dried seaweed across diverse markets.

The Ministry has set an ambitious target to further boost seaweed exports, aiming to reach $1 billion by 2027, a goal that aligns with the increasing global interest in healthier food options.

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