Aubergine

Korean sauces slowly penetrating American sauce market, report says

November 4, 2014
(Korea Times file)

From 2000 to 2014, hot sauce imports, like Korea’s gochujang, jumped 150 percent in the U.S. (Korea Times file)

Korean sauces gochujang and dwenjang are slowly infiltrating the $5.6 billion American sauce market, according to a recent report by Korea Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corporation.

According to aT, the U.S. imported about $276,500 in sauces from Asia since April last year, about $20,400 of it from Korea. That’s an increase of 7.9 percent between 2012 and 2014 for Korean sauces.

From Asia overall, the most popular item was soy sauce, which took up a whopping 36 percent of imports, followed by fish sauce (10 percent) and curry sauce (7 percent), the report said.

Dwenjang, a soybean paste, and gochujang, red pepper paste, each made up 3 percent of imports.

Soy sauce imports were up 1.4 percent from last year, but it was hot sauce that drew attention — from 2000 to 2014, hot sauce imports jumped 150 percent.

It is estimated that the hot sauce market will be worth $1.3 billion by 2017, according to industry and market research organization IBISWorld.

In America, Korean imports make up 90 percent of the gochujang market, which saw a 26 percent growth through May this year. In the same period, Korean BBQ sauces jumped 400 percent.

Dwenjang, too, was dominated by Korean imports, at 40 percent. Japan and Thailand followed with 25 percent and 14 percent, respectively.

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