As the preference for eco-friendly healthy foods continues in Korea, the preference for semi-cooked and processed foods is growing with the rise in single-person households and busy lifestyles of modern people. Against this backdrop, the EU Gateway to Korea "Organic Food and Beverage" Exhibition in Seoul offered a glance at European organic processed foods and beverages.
On November 19 and 20, the exhibition showcased some 50 small yet robust food and beverage companies from among the EU member states at the COEX InterContinental Hotel in Seoul. Having acquired one of the world's most rigorous organic certifications the EU organic logo (‘green leaf”), the companies exhibited their products while seeking business opportunities with domestic companies.
The exhibition featured a wide variety of organic processed foods including fruits and vegetables, bakeries, sauces, dressings, condiments, vegetal oils, snacks, spreads, dairy products, and organic beverages including tea, coffee, juice, and wine. Many of the items, which use environmentally friendly cultivation methods that do not use substances harmful to the body and are also fair trade, and are exported across Europe to the U.S. and to Asia.
Eye-catching items included plant-based foods ideal as a convenient and healthy breakfast for busy working people and students. They include protein-rich oat- and berry-added beverages, superfoods such as chia seeds, hemp, and cacao, breakfast substitutes with almond, buckwheat and fruit powder, as well as almond beverages with high-protein and reduced fat developed using patented processing technology . For those sensitive to ingredients such as wheat flour, dairy products and animal fat, the exhibition also features organic gluten-free and vegan products such as cookies, nut cheeses, crackers, and baked goods that have been recognised with international awards. The event also introduced such unique products as natural organic birch water, still unfamiliar to many domestic buyers, with flavours including mint, lemon and ginger, as well as pure, natural stevia, which is up to 200 times sweeter than sugar.
This OFB exhibition, which is part of the EU Gateway to Korea that facilitates business cooperation between Korean and European companies, is an opportunity for visitors to discover European organic processed food trends and meet food and beverage proposed by SMEs companies from Europe, some of which have participated in previous OFB BMs. With many of the companies participating in the exhibition also offering fair trade products, the exhibition saw increasing demand from consumers for ethical consumption.