Fruit is flavor of the month for Korea’s snack makers

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Fruit is flavor of the month for Korea’s snack makers

Fruit-flavored snacks are enjoying success in the domestic snack market and growing in popularity overseas, too.

Last year, Orion Confectionery launched honey milk-flavored O! Karto potato chips in China to appeal to Chinese consumers. The chips helped Orion pull in an impressive 200 billion won ($170 million) in sales last year in China.

To build on its success, Orion released mango-flavored O! Karto in China in May. Chinese consumers, well known for their love of tropical fruits, have bought the chips in masses, raising Orion’s sales in China by 20 percent last month compared to May 2015.

Meanwhile, the Pingo biscuit, available in banana, cheese and seaweed flavors, is faring well in Vietnam since its launch in April.

“The key to success is designing snacks with the locals’ favorite fruit flavors,” an Orion associate said.

Orion launched its fruit-flavored snack business to commemorate its 60-year anniversary in March. It also released a banana-flavored Choco Pie, which sold out in stores and was quickly compared to the honey butter craze of last year.

Over 70 million banana Choco Pies were sold in the first 100 days.

Meanwhile, Lotte Confectionery has launched banana-flavored Mongshell and Custard Cream Cakes to compete in the fruit-flavored snack market. Last month, they each posted 10 billion won in sales.

“We find that for Mongshell, the banana-flavored cakes are more popular than the original-flavored ones,” a Lotte associate said.

Lotte began selling banana, strawberry and apple-flavored Lay’s potato chips last year, and launched a coconut-flavored Pepero and mango and banana-flavored Rusk in April.

Lotte plans to test its new Pepero in the overseas market soon.


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