A Healthy Jujube Snack with Triple Strength: High Sugar Content, Use of Only Natural Ingredients, and No Artificial Additives
Early September 2015, the Korean government held the Export Business Consultations for Korean Agriproducts event in Tokyo, Japan. One of the products displayed at the event was quite unfamiliar to Japanese buyers but, nevertheless, received much attention. That product was Jujube Snack produced by Boeun Samga Jujube Farm using blackish red jujubes. In fact, Japan does not cultivate jujubes, so many local buyers were curious about the snack.
The main reasons why the product received positive attention of Japanese buyers are its sweet taste and the fact that it only uses natural ingredients. The average sugar content of jujube, the main ingredient of the snack, is 36°Bx, which is more than twice of that of apples (13°Bx on average) and grapes (15°Bx on average). Moreover, the jujube snack of Boeun Samga Jujube Farm does not use any artificial additives and is made with jujubes cooked with the hot-air frying method. In short, the product is truly healthy.
Thorough Quality Control by Cultivation without Agricultural Chemicals and Acquisition of GAP Certification
Boeun County, located in North Chungcheong Province, is one of the main production areas for jujubes in Korea. Boeun Samga Jujube Farm first started growing the fruit in 2002. The farm is producing an average of 10 tons of fresh and dried jujubes every year. Until recently, it has concentrated on domestic distribution and supplied its products to big supermarkets, environment-friendly food stores, and large corporations which purchase them to present as gifts. Mr. Kim Hong-bok, the CEO of Boeun Samge Jujube Farm, has been cultivating jujubes without agricultural chemicals for over 15 years. His farm produces a better quality fruit and yields larger crops than other jujube farms, so local people have given him a nickname of “the jujube master.”
Mr. Kim emphasizes, “We focus on production of high quality jujubes to meet the needs of consumers and buyers. For this reason, we obtained the GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) certification and are applying the traceability system to our fruit. In addition, we are putting much effort into sanitary control and food safety management. The fruit goes through four or more stages of sorting by marketability and size. We have never received complaints about our products from consumers or buyers.”
Gaining Popularity as a Premium Healthy Snack in Japan and Other Countries
Participation in the Export Consultations event in Tokyo last September was the first attempt for Boeun Samga Jujube Farm, and since then it has attended several international food fairs such as 2016 FOODEX JAPAN (held in Tokyo last March) and 2016 SIAL CHINA (held in Shanghai, China, in May). The jujube snack received positive responses from many overseas buyers and consumers, and their interest led to the beginning of exports. The farm concluded an export contract with Japanese buyer Dakachio Trading Company in the second half of last year and has been actively supplying the jujube snack to supermarkets in Yokohama and Chiba as well as Korean stores (Seoul Market, Korean Plaza, etc.) in Shinjuku Koreatown in Tokyo. In consideration of Japanese consumer preference, the farm is offering the product in small-sized packages (40g). The unit retail price is 390 yen.
Mr. Kim said, “The jujube snack has gained more popularity in Japan than we could imagine, and the import volume has been steadily rising. The product is on the tongues of the local middle class, the higher-income group, and women consumers, who praise it as a healthy snack.”
Plans to Export Fresh and Dried Jujubes
Boeun Samga Jujube Farm is planning to carry out several marketing strategies in order to expand the export of jujube snack overseas. First, the farm intends to obtain international certifications―such as ISO22000 and Global GAP―to gain recognition for the product’s high quality. In addition, it will organize promotions for the purpose of advancing into the Japanese distribution chains, such as the country’s largest convenience store enterprise, Seven-Eleven. The farm plans to participate in Chinese food fairs and export consultations to promote the jujube and thereby enter the Chinese market where the consumption of healthy snacks is on the rise. In the second half of this year, Boeun Samga will start exporting its fresh and dried jujubes to Japan.
Mr. Kim explains: “We organized the Korean Boeun Jujube Association with other jujube farms last June to secure stable supply of the fruit and cultivate foreign markets for jujube snacks, fresh jujubes, and dried jujubes. We will do the best to make our jujube snack widely known as a healthy product overseas, by offering the products that meet the needs of consumers and buyers.”
# Additional Info: Jujube Fruit and Jujube Snack
Jujube contains a lot of natural sugar, dietary fibers, and minerals. Many medical studies have shown that the fruit is good for skin care, preventing insomnia, and relieving stress. The jujube snack produced by Boeun Samga Jujube Farm contains crispy slices of the fruit. The product is free of transfat, sodium, and saturated fat, so it is perfect both as a nutritious snack for children and as an accompaniment to alcoholic beverages such as beer and wine. Many consumers enjoy it as a topping ingredient for cereal, yogurt, and ice cream.
Boeun Samga Jujube Farm
Tel : +82-43-544-4548
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