China today, the world tomorrow: Korean brand plans global presence for signature red ginseng product
Called Chong Kun Dang 6-Year-Old Red Ginseng Gold, the product is said to be suitable for adults in general and seniors in particular.
Red ginseng's multiple health benefits include immune support, physical stamina support, antioxidant properties, cognitive enhancement, improvement of blood circulation, improvement of respiratory and heart health, and fatigue relief.
It is also said to be able to reduce the incidence of hot flashes during menopause, and its effects on blood circulation have given rise to the theory that it may help with erectile dysfunction.
Speaking to NutraIngredients-Asia, Ewha Company partner Lee Jinju said: "Chong Kun Dang 6-Year-Old Red Ginseng Gold is made by using six-year-old red ginseng, which is rich in various nutritious elements and health benefits.
"What makes it different from other ginseng products on the Asian market is that it uses saponin, which is produced by the steaming and drying process that makes ginseng red. Together with polysaccharides, amino sugar and other minerals, saponin offers many health benefits."
At the same time, the product is said to taste milder and less bitter than other red ginseng products, making it more palatable especially for older consumers.
The product comes in sachets of liquid ginseng extract that can be mixed into water and other beverages for convenient consumption.
Red ginseng is the oldest type of ginseng and is not harvested until it is at least six years old, unlike fresh ginseng, which is typically harvested at four years of age or younger. Six-year-old red ginseng is specifically considered richer in saponin and other nutrients than other forms or ages of ginseng.
Ewha Company distributes fresh foods and organic produce directly from farms — including seasonal agro-fishery products, health foods and snacks — to shopping malls and smart stores, as well as through social commerce (a subset of e-commerce that entails the use of social media and user contributions to facilitate online transactions).
In addition, it offers one-stop services in merchandising, as well as sales and customer analysis.
From its extensive portfolio, the company chose Chong Kun Dang 6-Year-Old Red Ginseng Gold for international distribution, thanks mainly to the growing global appeal of TCM in general and ginseng-based dietary supplements and health foods in particular.
Though Ewha Company is aiming for global distribution of the product, it recognises that Asia will likely present greater opportunities than other regions.
Lee said: "While the total export value of Korean ginseng products last year stood at US$200m, Asia alone accounted for US$113m (55.2%) of that value. Furthermore, Korean red ginseng exports accounted for 60.4% of total Korean ginseng exports last year."
Within the Asia-Pacific region, Ewha Company has prioritised China for the export of its signature product. Lee explained: "China is the largest country in Asia, and it is also the first Asian target market for us because Chinese people tend to have a positive view of Korean products."
Currently, Chong Kun Dang 6-Year-Old Red Ginseng Gold is available only in South Korea, via Nature Food’s official Facebook page and local smart store Naver.com.
Lee added that Ewha Company plans to embark on its international plans this year, and to achieve full global distribution for the product "within a couple of years".
"Besides China, we are also interested in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. I think consumers in China and the rest of Asia prefer natural red ginseng products with minimised chemical additives."