Nongmin Food Succeeds in Developing a Mini Sweet Potato Product: Small Size but Same Taste and Nutrition
as a Regular
Easy to Have,
Just like Ice Cream
or Another Snack…Keen Interest from Foreign Buyers
processed sweet potato product was recently developed that keeps the taste and nutrition of the sweet potato intact but is a finger sized snack. It is attracting a lot of attention from foreign buyers and consumers. Since the product doesn’t use any artificial additives such as chemical seasonings, it is good as a wholesome snack. This superb product is Mini Sweet Potato, produced by Nongmin Food Co., Ltd.
Popular as a Snack for Children Because It Contains No Artificial Additives…Suitable for People on a Diet and as a Meal Replacement
Mini Sweet Potato of Nongmin Food is thumb-sized. It is a processed sweet potato food with the taste and shape of a sweet potato. The inside part is made of chestnut sweet potato (bam-goguma in Korean). On the outside, it is covered with the powder of purple sweet potato (jasaek-goguma in Korean), which is rich in the natural color anthocyan. Because there’s no need to peel the product, you can eat it right away. It is a frozen food, so you can have it instead of ice cream or defrost it to room temperature and eat it as a snack. You can also heat it in a microwave and have it hot. Mini Sweet Potato products come in three types: Chestnut Sweet Potato, Purple Sweet Potato, and Banana Sweet Potato. Mini Coco-Sweet Potato, to which coconut powder is added, is expected to come on the market soon. The distribution period of Mini Sweet potato products is about nine months. It is packaged in boxes offered in several sizes―240g, 1kg, and 2kg.
Mr. Lee Heung-soo, President of Nongmin Food, explains, “Our Mini Sweet Potato products can be used in many ways as snacks and as ingredients for cooking. We are mainly supplying them as high-end desserts to hotels, as snacks to kindergartens, and as ingredients to restaurants. They also come as part of school meals. The products are particularly popular as children’s snacks because they keep the taste and nutrition of the sweet potato and don’t use artificial additives. In online shopping malls, the products are in demand from female consumers as a diet food and from office workers who substitute meals with Mini Sweet Potato.”
In the first half of this year, Nongmin Food is planning to start manufacturing a new mini sweet potato product that can be stored at room temperature. In fact, the original frozen mini sweet potato product ran into several difficulties due to the storage and distribution conditions it requires. But the new mini sweet potato product will overcome this problem. Nongmin Food anticipates that with the new product it will be able to extend its distribution routes to convenience stores and supermarkets. In addition, exporting will become easier.
How the Bite-sized, Snack-type Processed Sweet Potato Product Was Developed
Mini Sweet Potato started with a sparkling idea of Mr. Lee. Sweet potatoes are now cultivated as an edible plant in about 110 countries, but he found that there are few processed foods at home and overseas that make it easy to consume sweet potatoes. Mr. Lee put in over five years of efforts to develop a processed sweet potato product that would be as convenient to eat as a common snack. In the end, he was able to create Mini Sweet Potato.
Mr. Lee says, “At that time, there were no manufacturing techniques or facilities suitable to produce mini sweet potatoes in Korea or abroad. I didn’t know what to do. So I became a devout reader of a variety of food science books and asked food experts for advice. After much trial and error, we finally developed the production facilities for making Mini Sweet Potato. We also obtained an HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) certificate last year. Because our products are manufactured in clean and safe production facilities, we are confident in the quality and food safety.”
Foreign Buyers Place a High Market Value on Mini Sweet Potato
The Mini Sweet Potato products of Nongmin Food are getting a good response overseas. Many foreign buyers evaluated the products as having a high market value. There was an interesting episode related to the product: some foreign buyers who tasted the product for the first time mistook it for a new type of sweet potato. That’s how novel the idea is.
Nongmin Food started exporting Mini Sweet Potato products to the US, Canada, and the UK in 2012. The company recently made a royalty contract with a famous Chinese food producer regarding the manufacturing technique of Mini Sweet Potato products. Foreign buyers―including those from Japan, Singapore, and Dubai―also expressed their interest in importing Mini Sweet Potato and Nongmin Food is currently negotiating export agreements with them.
Mr. Lee shared his ambitions, “Our Mini Sweet Potato products receive a lot of attention from buyers in China especially, where the demand for food products for children is steadily rising. We also get many inquiries from Japan, which is known as a heaven for idea products. We are planning to continue developing different types of processed sweet potato products and actively cultivate the foreign market.”
Nongmin Food’s Rice Cake Products for Topokki
Nongmin Food is also producing rice cake products for topokki (stir-fried rice cake). It offers six different types, among them the most popular are Sweet Potato Topokki (with delicious sweet potato), Sweet Pumpkin Topokki (with healthy sweet pumpkin), and Cheese Topokki (with extra chewiness thanks to mozzarella cheese). These products can be eaten as a snack without any cooking: just heat them in a microwave for two minutes.
Other rice cake products are also acquiring a good response from consumers. Punctured Rice Cake has a hole in the center of each cake, so seasonings can penetrate well. Rice Cake of Various Shapes, just as its name suggests, is made up of pieces of rice cake that have unusual shapes, such as stars or hearts. That way consumers have more fun both looking at the dish and eating it.
Inquiries Nongmin Food Co., Ltd.