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Int’l shoppers opt for ginseng, gim and nuts

May 24,2018
New data from Shinsegae Duty Free reveals that Chinese travelers love to pick up red ginseng when shopping at Incheon International Airport, while Japanese tourists opt for dried seaweed and Southeast Asian shoppers make a beeline for the honey butter almond aisle.

The food section at airports is often the last chance for travelers to buy local goods and light presents for family and friends. The duty free operator analyzed food sales at its Incheon International Airport branch this year and found that favorite purchases differed by country.

Among Chinese tourists, still the most common travelers to Korea, red ginseng extracts took the two top spots.

“The trend for wellbeing and a higher demand for premium products seems to have boosted demand,” said Shinsegae. “Red ginseng and gim [or dried seaweed] are known as Korean products that are good for health.”

Japanese tourists’ list of favorite duty free foods remained the same as in 2016, with gim maintaining its top spot.

Southeast Asian consumers were studied for the first time this year. They favored sweet snacks, with the exception of red ginseng extracts in third place. The top two favorites were honey butter almonds and nuts. Packaged brownies from CJ CheilJedang’s Market O were fourth and Binggrae’s iconic banana milk came fifth.

BY SONG KYOUNG-SON [song.kyoungson@joongang.co.kr]