State develops seafood niche market in Korea

Posted: Tuesday, December 04, 2001

The Division of International Trade & Market Development recently announced the results of a two-year campaign to introduce Alaska seafood to deluxe hotels in Seoul, capital of South Korea, and other Korean cities.

As a result, from July 2000 through October 2001, Korean hotels purchased about $1 million worth of salmon, halibut, crab, scallops and other Alaska products.

"This has proven to be a very successful niche market for introducing Alaska seafood," said Greg Wolf, international trade director for Alaska. "These are first-time buyers of our seafood and, based on the positive response they have received from their customers, these hotels are now making ongoing purchases for their restaurants."

Korean Air and the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute helped to organize the promotions. Seafood exports to Korea have risen dramatically during the past year. Exports of seafood from Alaska to Korea totaled $130 million in 2000. During the first eight months of 2001, seafood exports to Korea rose to $188 million - an increase of more than 120 percent.

"The long-term goal is having Alaska products on these hotel menus day in and day out," said Shelly James, Korea trade specialist for the state of Alaska.

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