CHOLOCWON’s Organic and Pesticide-free Citron Tea Captivates Tastes of Chinese in High-income Bracket
More and more foreign consumers these days are looking for teas without caffeine that are healthy and sweet at the same time. That’s why delicious fruit teas, rich in vitamins and minerals, are gaining popularity around the world. Korean traditional citron tea is one such kind, and since the late 2000s, its exports have been increasing by 15~20 percent every year. The popularity of Korean citron tea is soaring in more than ten countries including the United States, Japan, Southeast Asian countries, and the main export market - China.The biggest merits of Korean citron tea are its beautiful yellow color and the sweet-and-sour taste. Citron tea contains three times the amount of vitamin C found in a lemon, so it is effective in skin care and preventing colds. To prevent influenza, the Chinese medicine industry even ran a campaign for the local consumers promoting “drinking a cup of citron tea a day.” In addition, citron tea has a lot of organic acid that has anti-aging and fatigue-relief effects.
Currently, the Korean citron tea holds over a 90 percent share of the world citron tea market. The main ingredient - citron - grows in Korea, Japan, and China. Overseas buyers, however, generally judge Korean citron as having the best quality and most competitive price among the three. Production is mainly concentrated in Goheung-gun, Wando-gun, Jangheung-gun, Jindo-gun (in Jeollanam-do), Geoje-si, Namhae-gun, and Tongyoung-si (in Gyeongsang-nam-do). China is the main export market for Korean citron tea. When Korean citron tea was first exported to the Chinese market, local consumers treated it as a very special product and called it “golden tea.” Yellow represents wealth in several Chinese customs, so a yellow citron tea has a good image with the Chinese consumers.
Korean Citron Tea Takes up Over 90 Percent of World Citron Tea Market
Popular in China as “Golden Tea”
While many overseas consumers demonstrate a keen interest in organic and eco-friendly foods, Korean citron tea is also changing in its taste. Lately, “organic citron tea,” which is made of organic and pesticide-free citron, has entered the Chinese tea beverage market. Here, the product has received a lot of attention from tea lovers and consumers in the high-income bracket. The producer of the tea, CHOLOCWON CO.,LTD. is the original exporter of organic citron tea in Korea.
CHOLOCWON CO.,LTD. only purchases organic and pesticide-free citron from organic and eco-friendly citron farms designated by the Korean National Agricultural Quality Management Service (NAQS). Moreover, the company representatives regularly visit the farms to check the quality of the fruit. Every year, the company uses 80~100 tons of organic citron and 200~300 tons of pesticide-free citronto make its tea products. All the sub-ingredients - honey and sugar - are also organic.
Song Jum-cheol, the CEO of CHOLOCWON CO.,LTD., explains that “because we are using only organic and pesticide-free ingredients, the output is limited. Besides, it costs a lot to produce these teas. But I’m confident our organic products are very satisfying to consumers. CHOLOCWON CO.,LTD. puts a lot of effort into food safety and building consumer confidence. If any trouble arises in regards to quality, we immediately cancel the purchasing contract with the trouble-farm. As premium products, our organic citron teas target only the 10 percent of regular customers, not the 90 percent of random consumers. That is why, for the time being, we don’t plan any large increases in exports.”
Using Only Organic Ingredients - Citron, Honey, Sugar
Over 20 Percent More Citron and Honey Compared to Other Citron Teas
Organic citron tea made its debut in overseas markets at the world-famous food expo “SIAL CHINA 2011” last May. CHOLOCWON CO.,LTD. concluded an exporting contract (US$1,000,000) with a major Chinese buyer “Auchan Trading Company.” Active exports of organic citron tea products to China started from August. The organic tea has a great taste and quality because, in contrast to other citron tea products, it contains over 20 percent citron and honey. The price is two to three times higher than other citron teas: organic tea is US$8/kg and pesticide-free tea is US$4.5/kg. There are two types of packages: 1kg and 550g. The products are sold in the high-end department stores and large supermarkets such as Wal-Mart and Happy Mart. Notably, the first batch (20 tons) of CHOLOCWON’s citron tea sold out just three days after the beginning of sales. Most consumers come from the high-income bracket.
CHOLOCWON CO.,LTD. plans to export its organic citron tea to Southeast Asian countries such as Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Similarly to its strategy in China, the company is going to target only 10 percent of the consumers, namely the high-income group. Therefore, Mr. Song and his staff are looking for foreign buyers who specialize in importing organic foods. In addition, CHOLOCWON CO., LTD. is planning to acquire international certificates such as USDA and Global GAP in order to enter the North American markets of the US and Canada. Yet another ambition is to introduce overseas consumers to organic citron extract (suitable to make a cool tea in hot weather) and pesticide-free chrysanthemum tea products.
Inquiries CHOLOCWONCO.,LTD. Tel +82-53-852-3000 Fax +82-53-852-0600 Website www.cholocwon.co.kr