Korean consumer goods showcased in South Africa

A convention showcasing a wide range of Korean consumer goods was launched for the first time in South Africa.

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy and the Korea Trade Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) hosted the Korea Premium Consumer Goods Showcase 2016 in Cape Town for two days on Nov. 21 and 22. At the showcase, some 47 Korean companies, including Charmzone, Hurom and Nongshim, which deal in cosmetics, fashion, food products and stationery, set up exhibition booths and consulting stations. Around 100 local buyers and distributors registered for the event.

Representatives from local consumer goods chains, such as Shoprite, Pick n Pay, Woolworths, Clicks and Spa, attended the convention to survey the selection of Korean products on offer. Clicks, a major chain of drugstores, expressed interest in a line of Korean cosmetics, while Spa, a distribution company, and Pick n Pay, a chain of supermarkets, showed a willingness to import a range of processed foods, like snacks and instant noodles.

A number of smaller events were held on the sidelines of the consumer goods showcase, including a promotional online sale and a food tasting corner. Six Korean companies participated in the online sale, and sold their products for a week on Bid or Buy, a local online shopping mall, starting from Nov. 14. Around 90 different items were sold online during this period. Among the items sold, facial masks, moisturizing creams and stationery sets were the most popular.

Cape Town, where the showcase was held, is often considered a gateway to the African market by suppliers from around the world. A number of global distributors, like Walmart, H&M and Forever 21, have already set up sales headquarters in the coastal city. This is because the African consumer goods market, once limited to basic household items, has now opened into the realm of cosmetics and fashion, to meet the needs of an expanding middle-class consumer base. Thanks to recent improvements in wireless internet infrastructure, online sales have been growing steadily, too.

"I believe the Korea Premium Consumer Goods Showcase 2016 will be an important starting point for exchanges between Korea and South Africa," said Alan Mukoki, CEO of the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry. "I hope the opportunities for such commercial exchanges will continue to grow into the future."

Source: Korea.net