More Korean pharmaceutical firms are actively entering the functional foods market to meet increased demand for these products foods from those in their 20s and 30s. Functional foods refer to foods that have a potentially positive effect on health beyond basic nutrition.
Worsening health from the scorching heat and fine dust pollution also played a role in increased demand.
According to the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, the domestic functional foods market grew 51 percent over the past four years from 1.4 trillion won ($1.23 billion) in 2013 to 2.2 trillion won in 2017.
Huons recently acquired Sung Shin BioScience Technology (Sung Shin BST), which specializes in manufacturing Korean red ginseng products. With the acquisition, Huons has expanded its health functional food business, which included Vitamin C and natural herb supplement Honeybush, to include red ginseng products.
Yuhan Corp. has also been expanding its health functional foods business by opening a separately dedicated brand called New Origin. The new store, opened in IFC mall in Seoul, sells a variety of functional foods, including Vitamin D, herbal remedies, probiotics, and Lutein. The firm aims to expand the store to another location this month, according to reports.
Ildong opened up its functional food brand MyNi, entering the market for the first time. Customers can get consulting for a customized nutritional plan and products that are matched to the individual.
According to the Korea Health Supplements Association, the world functional food market is expected to reach 145 trillion won this year, growing 6 percent from 2017.
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