[K-Food] Sempio spicing up international dishes with K-sauces

Jaume Biarnes, director of the Yondu Culinary Studio, introduces recipes that utilized Sempio’s Yondu Vegetable Umami to men and women in the Yondu Culinary Studio situated in Manhattan, New York Town. (Sempio)

This is the sixth installment of a collection of interviews with global enterprise chiefs of South Korean foods companies that are increasing aggressively in overseas markets. — Ed.

Sauces embody a custom — they are a compilation of a long time of locals’ know-how for spicing up native delicacies. As such, matching classic sauces with overseas dishes is scarce.

On the other hand, Korea’s most significant sauce maker Sempio reported it is at the moment at the vanguard of savory Korean sauces imbuing varied menu merchandise about the planet.

Headed by profits of its bestselling gochujang (very hot pepper paste) goods and Sempio’s modified version of soy sauce, Yondu, abroad income make up 11.5 % of the overall as of 2022.

Sempio’s mystery to achievements is concentrating on items that add “umami” to global dishes.

“Sempio’s Yondu, which mostly outsells other solitary category merchandise overseas, is viewing some 50 % maximize in world wide profits per year,” explained Lee Jae-kyu, a crew leader of abroad product sales at Sempio all through an job interview at the firm’s headquarters in Jung-gu, Seoul with The Korea Herald.

“We attribute Yondu’s achievements to its ability to instill a perception of ‘umami’ to world cuisines, no subject what it is,” he reported.

Umami refers to one of the 5 primary tastes, alongside with sweet, sour, salty and bitter. Also recognized as the style of glutamate — an amino acid that is 1 of the primary constituents of protein — “umami” connotes “savoriness,” and can be most effective explained as the meaty, brothy style that deepens the flavor of foodstuff.

Even though the flavor is commonly acknowledged in Korean as “gamchilmat,” and utilized in various dishes below, the strategy is continue to foreign in the world-wide marketplace. Sempio suggests its techniques to focus on the “blue ocean” taste have contributed to Yondu’s world-wide achievement.

“It really is not that there are no ingredients to improve the taste of umami overseas. Handful of illustrations (that are applied to boost savoriness) involve rooster inventory, tomatoes and olive oil, but these can only be utilized in quite restricted dishes,” Lee mentioned, adding that Yondu’s competitive edge is its diverse usability, with its liquid sort and characteristically weak potency.

In addition to large markets these types of as the US and Europe, the business aggressively qualified marketplaces in which its products could stand out in opposition to fairly lower amounts of level of competition, this kind of as Russia or the Middle East.

Gochujang hails good results

A different merchandise that revved up Sempio’s effectiveness overseas was gochujang.

According to Lee, the business is at present viewing once-a-year profits progress charge of 25 p.c for its gochujang items in the world wide market place.

Lee additional that its gochujang products are bestsellers not only in its most promptly increasing markets these types of as Switzerland, France, Germany and the Netherlands, but also in Sempio’s most important current market — the US.

“We attribute the popularity encompassing our gochujang products to our analysis. We observed that some buyers obtain the style and aroma of gochujang a little bit also large. In order to make it easier for foreigners who are attempting Korean ‘jang’ (Korean common fermented paste) for the very first time, we minimized the spicy and salty flavor in gochujang, and diversified our lineup to include gluten-no cost and natural variations,” claimed Lee.

Lee extra that the firm’s attempts to introduce a slew of recipes that can be produced with gochujang, alongside with other Korean sauces, assisted ramp up income in the overseas current market drastically.

For example, in distinction to when the firm initially exported its solutions to Europe, now some 60 percent of buyers that obtain its goods are locals, in its place of Korean residents dwelling abroad.

Its approach to analyze overseas retail chains have further proved fruitful.

Lee stated that overseas shoppers have a inclination to check out unique retail stores for unique sorts of groceries, in distinction to Korean people — who are likely to get all their groceries in 1 go at large grocery store chain merchants these types of as Homeplus and E-mart.

Lee reported that Sempio has ideas to aggressively foray into big North American retail chains which focus in gross sales of premium wellbeing food items this sort of as Entire Foods, Metro, Sprouts Farmers Market and Publix Tremendous Markets, to goal a specific buyer demographic.

For its plans likely ahead, Sempio mentioned it is established on foraying into Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Israel — countries exactly where handful of Korean opponents have forayed so significantly, and whose marketplaces bear prospective for profits of savory sauces and condiments.

“We are no for a longer period residing in a time the place we consume simply because we are hungry. Eating itself has turn into a cultural action,” mentioned Lee.

“Consumers are also no extended averse to hoping out new forms of meals. In reality, they love the adventure,” explained Lee, incorporating that with its Korean sauce products, Sempio is completely ready to more spice up world-wide consumers’ dishes.

Lee Jae-kyu, a workforce leader of overseas profits at Sempio, poses for a picture at Sempio’s headquarters in Jung-gu, central Seoul, on March 10. (Im Se-jun/The Korea Herald)

 By Lee Yoon-search engine marketing ([email protected])