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Cultural wave of "hallyu" boosts demand for Korean ice cream in Vietnam

06:51 | 22/07/2020

South Korea’s exports of ice cream to Viet Nam jumped 30 percent in 2019 from a year earlier on the back of the growing popularity of Korean culture in Southeast Asia, the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) reported on July 19.

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cultural wave of hallyu boosts demand for korean ice cream in vietnam
High demand for Korean ice cream in Vietnam. Photo: Yonhap

South Korea's exports of ice cream to Vietnam jumped 30 percent in 2019 from a year earlier on the back of the growing popularity of Korean culture in Southeast Asia, data showed Sunday (19 July).

Outbound shipments of ice cream to Vietnam reached $7 million in 2019, rising sharply from $5.3 million a year earlier, according to the report released by the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA).

In contrast, Thailand, the top player in the segment, saw its ice cream exports to Vietnam only edge up 1.8 percent to $8.8 million. South Korea took up 35.6 percent of Vietnam's ice cream imports in 2019.

Experts say the growth was attributable to the cultural wave of "hallyu" in Asian countries, which refers to the boom of South Korea-made entertainment goods, including pop music, movies and TV dramas. The popularity of hallyu beefed up demand for South Korean goods, including foodstuffs.

cultural wave of hallyu boosts demand for korean ice cream in vietnam
'Hallyu' boosts demand for Korean ice cream in Vietnam. Photo: habkorea

In 2017, South Korea sold $4.15 million worth of ice cream in Vietnam, while that of Thailand came to $6.4 million.

"Vietnam is an attractive destination for ice cream producers as the country's average income has been rising steadily," KOTRA said in its report.

South Korea's combined exports to Vietnam in 2019 reached $48 billion, down 0.9 percent from a year earlier. Over the cited period, the country's exports dipped 10.4 percent amid the growing protectionism around the globe and falling prices of memory chips.

Vietnam was the third-largest export destination for Asia's No. 4 economy in 2019, with China and the United States standing as the top two.

South Korea has been making efforts to diversify its export portfolio and ease its heavy dependency on tech products, especially as the new coronavirus pandemic has strained traditional areas.

Exports of foodstuffs jumped a whopping 11.7 percent on-year in June amid the global COVID-19 pandemic, which is significant considering the country's overall shipments lost 10.9 percent over the period.

cultural wave of hallyu boosts demand for korean ice cream in vietnam
South Korea has been focusing more on the exports of foodstuffs. Photo: Yonhap

The Korean Wave (Hallyu) refers to the global popularity of South Korea’s cultural economy exporting pop culture, entertainment, music, TV dramas and movies. It is a collective term used to refer to the phenomenal growth of Korean culture and popular culture encompassing everything from music, movies, drama to online games and Korean cuisine just to name a few.

Hallyu first spread to China and Japan, later to Southeast Asia and several countries worldwide where it continues to have a strong impact. Vietnam is one of some other countries where the cultural wave of "hallyu" is dominated and has much influenced on young people.

(Source: Martin Roll)

cultural wave of hallyu boosts demand for korean ice cream in vietnam
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Yonhap, Korea Herald, VNS