Daesang's California kimchi factory starts production
Daesang, the maker of Jongga kimchi, has opened a new kimchi factory in California, the company announced Tuesday.
It has invested 20 billion won so far in the factory, which is on 10,000 square meters (107,639 square feet) of land in the City of Industry near Los Angeles. The facility can produce 2,000 tons of kimchi a year. It is the first of its size built by a Korean company in the United States for the making of kimchi, according to the company.
Daesang plans to further expand its production capacity, with the goal of reaching 100 billion won ($82 million) in annual sales in the U.S. market by 2025.
The company is running factories in other countries, including Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, and China. The U.S. factory is the company's tenth production base overseas, and the first outside the Asian region.
The new factory will manufacture 10 varieties of kimchi products, including gluten-free and vegan kimchi, targeting local consumers. Ingredients used in making kimchi, such as cabbage, radish and green onion, will be sourced from local suppliers.
Jongga kimchi made at the new California factory is expected to be exported to Europe, Canada and other western countries in the future, according to the company.
The global kimchi market has been on a steady rise.
The export volume of kimchi hit a record $160 million last year, more than double $79 million in 2016, according to Korea Customs Service.
Daesang, the frontrunner in the kimchi export market, sold 40 percent of the total kimchi exports last year, at $67 million, up 131 percent from 2016. It is currently exporting its kimchi to about 40 countries.
"The U.S. market holds significance as it provides a foothold for further global market expansion of kimchi," said Daesang CEO Lim Jung-bae.
Lim added that "Daesang will now be able to respond more smoothly to the global logistics crisis as the local production base is secured, and focus on developing products targeting local consumers."
BY SHIN HA-NEE [email@example.com]