Three things you must bring back from South Korea

July 28, 2015
Honey Butter chips, Soonhari soju, Jjawang

Honey Butter chips, Soonhari soju, Jjawang

By Park Ji-hye

When are the trio of South Korea’s hottest products — Honey Butter chips, Soonhari soju, Jjawang — coming to America?

It’s probably the question asked by countless travelers who lug bags and bottles of these goods in suitcases for friends and family.

As it turns out, there’s good news: Soonhari soju and Jja Wang may soon become available here.

“We cannot use the same recipe as the Korean product, so we’re in the middle of preparations to have [the product] meet import standards,” said Park Jong-hoon, overseas head of Lotte Chilsung, manufacturer of Soonhari Chum Churum.

The Soonhari soju, a yuzu-flavored cocktail, has been a breakout hit in South Korea.

Nongshim America marketing head Kevin Chang said Jjawang, instant black noodles that have seen high demand in Korea, cannot be imported as they are because of a beef ingredient.

“We’re in discussions to import the noodles as they are, and to possibly produce the meat portion here in the U.S.,” Chang said.

Then there’s the bad news. Americans may not be seeing the fabled Honey Butter chips — which were being sold for up to $50 a bag on eBay last year — for a while.

“We have no plans to import [Honey Butter chips] to America because of a licensing problem with Calbee,” Haitai USA said. “We’re instead focusing on sales of Honey Tong Tong, its sister snack.”


  1. YOUwantPeopletobeFined?

    July 30, 2015 at 7:27 AM

    Nongshim America marketing head Kevin Chang specifically mentions that you can’t import JJawang, and you are recommending your readers to bring it from Korea? Do you know how much is the fine and the potential legal implication when you bring a product with beef ingredient?

  2. samgyupsal

    July 30, 2015 at 10:47 AM

    The headline should be changed,”Three things you must taste when you visit Korea…If reporter tried to remind readers about these popular products for now in South Korea..

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