Is South Korea a Grapefruit Market Goldmine?

Is South Korea a Grapefruit Market Goldmine?

Did you know that many South Koreans are gaga over grapefruit? According to University of Florida researchers, this is the case — especially with the younger crowd. With newly gathered data confirming this trend, it appears Florida grapefruit growers would be wise to explore this emerging market opportunity.

Photo by Frank Giles

UF/IFAS scientists are performing a series of surveys for the Florida Department of Citrus, comparing the consumer behavior and market potential for grapefruit in the U.S., Europe, and Asia.

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In the latest study, Yan Heng, a Postdoctoral Researcher in the UF/IFAS Food and Resources Economics Department, conducted an online poll of 992 South Korean female shoppers over 20 years old.

She found South Korea may be a growing market for U.S. grapefruit. Furthermore, South Korean consumers generally consider U.S. products as high quality, so U.S. growers would have a chance to profit by selling with a premium, Heng said.

In addition to eating grapefruit, South Koreans also use grapefruit in beer, tea, and ice cream, so marketing opportunities abound.

American growers account for 60% of all the grapefruit imported by South Korea, according to an Extension document, which outlines Heng’s research results and explains South Koreans’ market potential. South Korea imported $23.56 million of grapefruit in 2014.

In fact, if future studies find that younger consumers in other countries also like these ways to consume grapefruit, this might help increasing consumption in other regions, she said.