A New-Style Healthy Snack Wins the Heart of Chloe Grace Moretz
As part of the trend for healthy living styles, snacks that keep the original taste of their ingredients, are nutritious, and do not contain additives are a big hit in Korea. One of the popular products is Sweet Potato CHEW. The soft strips of dried sweet potato, made by steaming sweet potatoes without other additives, became a bestseller soon after its release. The product even captivated the taste buds of a Hollywood star. Last year, during her trip to Korea, Chloe Grace Moretz posted her experiences on her Instagram by the hour. One of the posts shows Sweet Potato CHEW. Below the picture the actress typed, “First time trying these dried sweet potato chews, but they’re really healthy and delicious. Love it.”
Sweet Potato CHEW is produced by Jeongsim Food Co., Ltd. and distributed by Daesang Chungjungone. Let us find out more about Jeongsim Food.
The First in the Field to Introduce Automated Facilities
Located in Gangjin County, South Jeolla Province (which is famous for sweet potatoes), Jeongsim Food was founded in 2012. Despite being relatively new in the industry, the company has the largest production line of soft dried sweet potato in the country.
Mr. Jin Gyeong-hak, CEO of Jeongsim Food, explains, “We started as an agricultural corporation purchasing sweet potatoes. When we first made soft dried sweet potato strips, we did it by hand and used potatoes that had no commercial value since they were too big or had a funny shape. We gave the packs of strips as bonus gifts to our best customers. The freebies received a very positive response and we decided to focus on their commercialization.”
That is when Jeongsim Food signed cultivation contracts with sweet potato farmers and started building a factory.
Mr. Jin said, “When we started this company, the manufacturing process for soft dried sweet potato in Korea was in the form of a cottage industry. From the beginning, we aimed at the global market, so we installed a modern automation system and set up the best processing facilities in the country.”
In other words, Jeongsim Food became the first company in Korea to obtain an automated production system for soft dried sweet potato.
Sold Out on a Home Shopping Channel…OEM Agreement with Daesang Chungjungone
Jeongsim Food Co., Ltd. supplies most of its products to Home & Shopping (a home shopping channel), E-mart (a large network of hypermarkets), T’way Air and Eastar Jet airlines, and Daesang Chungjungone. All those companies approached Jeongsim Food after learning, through the word-of-mouth, that the ingredients are carefully selected and the products are made in state-of-the-art processing facilities.
When Jeongsim Food’s sweet potato strips appeared on Home & Shopping for the first time, they were sold out in just 40 minutes.
Exporting Soft Dried Sweet Potato to Japan, a Country Known for Advanced Food Manufacturing Technology
Soon after Jeongsim Food started supplying its products to Daesang Chungjungone through an OEM (original equipment manufacturing) agreement, it was swarmed with inquiries from overseas buyers who were interested in the product because of the ease of storing and distributing it.
Normally, fresh and processed sweet potatoes cause problems for long-term distribution since they spoil easily at room temperature. In contrast, Jeongsim Food’s product can be stored at room temperature for 8 months even though it does not use any additives. The secret is in the unique production process. Jeongsim Food had put much effort into developing a processing method that would enable the long-term storage of the product. After numerous trials and errors, the company succeeded in this endeavor and obtained a patent for the method early this year.
High food safety is another strong point of Jeongsim Food’s products. The producer pays particular attention to hygiene and applies the CIP (cleaning in place) system. All of the hygienic facilities―air showers, filters for foreign matters, and so on―possess HACCP (hazard analysis and critical control point), ISO9001, and ISO22000 certifications. Based on these skills and facilities, Jeongsim Food has been able to make products of excellent quality and export them overseas. Particularly significant is its entry to the Japanese market since Japan is renowned for its advanced technology in soft dried sweet potato manufacturing. Next year, the sweet potato strips will be sold in a Japanese convenience store chain (Ministop). Moreover, the product has reached halal markets (Malaysia and Indonesia) by obtaining a halal certification (JAKIM) in June this year. Negotiations for export to the US and Europe are under way.