K-Food Newsletter

Global Trend / Korean Laver Snack Hit the U.S.
2021-06-24 11:28:06

Laver (a type of seaweed) is a favorite side dish for every Korean. Recently, various processed products using laver have been developed, making it suitable for side dishes and snacks taken with alcoholic drinks. Notably, the unique texture and salty taste of laver snacks have allowed them to emerge as a global food. Recently, laver snacks have become popular among all ages in the United States due to their unique aroma and the widespread recognition that they are a healthy food.



#The Growing U.S. Laver snack Market
From 2015 to 2019, imports of laver snack-related products maintained an annual growth rate of 8%. Especially imports of laver snack-related products increased 18% year-on-year in 2016, showing a rapid growth.
Then, just how many laver snack-related products have been exported to the United States by Korea, where various laver-related products are produced? The result indicates that the U.S. is the second largest importer of laver snack-related products after Mexico. The U.S. imported USD 160 million worth of Korean laver snack-related products, accounting for 11% of the total imports.



#The reason why American consumers love Laver snack
Like so, it has been analyzed that the reason why laver snack-related products are in the limelight in the U.S. is because they are perceived to be good for health and low in calories. In fact, it is easy to find the health-related certificates such as organic, gluten-free, and vegan for the laver snack-related products sold in the U.S. The laver snack is not merely a snack, but it has become quite popular as a low-calorie healthy food.
How do Americans search for laver snacks on the Internet and utilize them? According to a survey, the keywords for laver snacks sold on online shopping websites in the U.S. are Crisp, Chips, and Crunch in order of frequency of occurrence.
In addition, on online shopping websites in the U.S., laver snacks with the original taste without added flavor have been sold the most. The second most sold are laver snacks with the hot and spicy taste. However, rather than the spicy taste of chili, the products with added spiciness of wasabi or onion are more popular.


#Korean Laver snack Boom
Most of the laver snack products on online shopping websites in the U.S. are from Korea. Also, they are packaged in the same kind of packaging used for the typical Korean seasoned laver products (pastic wrapper).
Local reactions show clearly how the laver snack is evaluated within the U.S. market. The interviews with local distributors conducted by Korea Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corporation (aT) overall indicate the high demand for Korean laver snack products. In particular, it is significant that the laver snack has become one of the largest categories in the U.S. food market.
Han Man-woo, director of the Los Angeles Branch Office of aT, said, “As more and more consumers are looking for healthy food in the U.S., tasty and healthy laver snack purchases are expected to increase. If product improvement and new product development are carried out, we can expect the continuous popularity of laver snacks.”

Data Source : Korea Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corporation (aT)



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