Korean ginseng for youngsters: Industry association says taste reformulation is key
At present, the health food is more popular with seniors, as the younger generation finds it difficult to accept the bitter taste, Sung-heon Han, manager of the association said.
“After consuming Korean Ginseng, consumers feel that they have recovered from fatigue, have better skin, and also believe that Korean ginseng has an anti-ageing effect.
"To get these effects, consumers want easier ways to take Korean ginseng, without the bitterness,” Han told Nutraingredients-Asia.
As such, he pointed out that many Korean ginseng manufacturers have been trying to change consumers’ perceptions towards the health food.
For example, to improve the taste, he said that some have developed red ginseng beverages that were less bitter.
Korea Ginseng Corp is an example of that has been reformulating the taste of red ginseng.
Its Renesse candy, made with red ginseng extract, is added with menthol and xylitol to give it a sweeter note.
It also aims to attract the younger generation by coming out with trendy product designs.
The association has organised a series of ginseng festivals in 13 cities, including Geumsan, Eumsung, and Gimpo earlier this month to promote the health benefits of Korean ginseng.
At present, most of the Korean ginseng consumers are from the middle-aged group.
“Even though the consumers are aware of Korean ginseng's benefits, our main customers are from the middle aged group. The young people tend to exercise and take supplements like vitamin C or multi-vitamins,” Han said.
He pointed out that Korean ginseng was more popular with women experiencing menopause, as it could help alleviate symptoms such as hot flush, sweating, and fatigue.
He added that middle-aged men would also consume ginseng in the form of liquor.
He said that the association was also targeting the overseas markets.
To reach out to these consumers, the association has set up an English version of its website and will also organise activities such as ginseng cooking contests to spread the benefits of Korean ginseng.
“Korean Ginseng is a good ingredient that is healthy enough to be used as a valuable medicine since the ancient times. We hope that people indulge in its healthy and healing qualities,” association chairman Ban Sang-bae added.