Sejun Haneulcheong Develops and Successfully Exports a New Sikhye Beverage Containing Banana Concentrate Instead of Rice
The sweet fermented beverage sikhye (sweet rice punch) is a traditional Korean drink made of rice and yeotgireum (Korean malt). Sikhye is healthy, unlike many instant beverages, such as coke, that contain caffeine and artificial sweeteners. Since the late 2000s, exports of sikhye to the US, Japan, China, and Southeast Asia have been steadily increasing. A leading traditional beverage exporter, Sejun Haneulcheong Co., Ltd., has recently launched a new type of sikhye. Called “Banana Flavored Sikhye,” this beverage contains banana concentrate and none of the rice grains commonly used for sikhye. What’s more, the new product has been exported to the US, China, and Vietnam and is receiving a lot of attention from foreign buyers and consumers.
Foreigners who Have Tried It Think It’s Fantastic and Great for Kids Thanks to the Bountiful Amino Acids
From the beginning, Sejun Haneulcheong created Banana Flavored Sikhye with foreign consumers in mind. In fact, many buyers and consumers abroad recognize the benefits of sikhye―its delicious sweet taste and the fermentation process the beverage goes through. Unfortunately, they are repulsed by grains of cooked rice floating in the drink and by the mirky color of sikhye. Sejun Haneulcheong and Gyeonggi-do Agricultural Research and Extension Services (GARES) have worked together since 2012 to develop a technique that would improve upon these shortcomings. Their efforts led to what became Banana Flavored Sikhye. The beverage is made with banana concentrate. With the rice grains removed, even those who try sikhye for the first time can enjoy it.
The product can be stored at room temperature for 18 months thanks to the packaging in sterilized tetra-packs. It comes in small packages (125ml each) that are easy to carry. Banana Flavored Sikhye is also low in calories (65㎉). Importantly, it is the world’s first product to contain amino acids extracted from oyster mushrooms. The amount of amino acids it contains (about 87㎎) is three times that found in other sikhye products. Amino acids are widely known to be good for growth, so Banana Flavored Sikhye is perfect as a healthy beverage for children.
Exported to the US, China, and Vietnam Since Last February…Will Be Introduced at <FOODEX JAPAN 2014>
Exports of Haneulcheong’s Banana Flavored Sikhye to the US, China, and Vietnam started in earnest last February. The beverage is now distributed in H-Mart (the US), large supermarkets of Beijing and Xiamen in Fujian (China), and convenience stores such as Circle-K and Family Mart (Vietnam). A small quantity of Banana Flavored Sikhye was also exported to Sweden.
Mr. Moon Wan-ki, CEO of Sejun Haneulcheong, explains, “Bananas are one of the world’s most-consumed fruits and Korean banana flavored milk products are now becoming a hit worldwide. Our Banana Flavored Sikhye is inspired by sikhye and banana. We will participate in <FOODEX JAPAN 2014> held in Tokyo this March in order to captivate the tastes of Japanese people who generally like small packaged, sweet foods.”
We Want to Know More About the Sikhye Products of Sejun Haneulcheong
To make its high-quality traditional beverages, Sejun Haneulcheong uses the high-grade rice produced in Yeoju County of Gyeonggi Province and the malt produced in Andong City of North Gyeongsang Province. The sugar content of Haneulcheong Sikhye is 12.5°Brix, which is similar to coke. But, unlike coke, in which the sweet taste is achieved by adding sugar and artificial sweeteners, Haneulcheong Sikhye tastes sweet naturally because there is no sugar, but only malt. So that consumers can choose according to their liking, the sikhye products come in various sizes: PET bottles (2ℓ, for family use), pouches (275ml, handy-size), and aluminum cans (275ml, portable).
Sejun Haneulcheong is supplying its sikhye products to Lufthansa (the largest airline in Germany) as in-flight food served together with bibimbap (rice mixed with vegetables and meats).
Inquiries Sejun Haneulcheong Co., Ltd.