Complete Chocolate Lover’s Guide for the San Francisco Bay Area

Korean chocolate billboard

Future chocolate market: S. Korea?


Chocolatiers: If you’re looking for new markets, have you considered S. Korea?

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I had a great time in S. Korea in Oct. 2009, my first trip there, and I ate a  lot of delicious food, but I couldn’t find good artisan chocolate. I think this spells opportunity for our local chocolatiers looking to branch out.

Here’s my case: Koreans are foodies. They know all about which foods to eat for what ails ya. They are big on fresh, quality, organic ingredients. Many restaurants grow their own produce, and people want to know country of origin for a lot of foods.

Coffee is a big trend there now, as it is in a lot of other Asian countries, I’m told. It seems to me the next logical step is artisan chocolates.

S. Korea has some unique advantages over other Asian countries as a chocolate market: It’s not as hot and humid as countries to the south, it’s not as expensive as Japan, and it’s very pro-business.

I think if you promote your chocolate’s health benefits, quality ingredients, countries of origin — and you make sure you provide the freshest possible product — S. Korea could  be a profitable place for selling chocolate.

And there’d be chocolate for me to eat next time I’m there!

I saw this lighted billboard in a subway station in Seoul.
I saw this lighted billboard in a subway station in Seoul.

This is the closest I got to high-end chocolates in Korea, but it’s advertising condos, not chocolate. Rough translation: Most apartment complexes are as visually appealing as the plain chocolate bar, but if you buy one of our condos, you’ll have a beautiful, unique place to live.

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Published November 24, 2009