By Daniel Karibwije
Coffee, Uganda’s major foreign exchange earner, accounting for nearly 30% of the country’s foreign currency, now has a foot in the lucrative South Korean market.
With a population of 50 million and a sizeable youthful population tuned to the aroma of coffee, the sky is the limit for quality coffee from the rich soils of Uganda in South Korea.
The recently-concluded International Expo 2012 held in Yeosu, South Korea, saw Beijing Chenao Coffee Co.
(BCCCL), a Uganda-China joint venture, introduce a new coffee brand, Mountain Gorilla Coffee onto the Korean market.
“The Mountain Gorilla Coffee brand, a new instant coffee product, was developed to the tastes and preferences of the people of Asia, especially the Koreans,” said David Kiwanuka, the promotion and marketing co-ordinator of Ugandan coffee in Asia.
Expo goers were given the opportunity to taste the brand prior to buying or placing orders.
“It has an inviting aroma, which led to crowding at the Uganda pavilion,” Kiwanuka said.
The Beijing Chenao Coffee Co. partnered with Rosco Life Co., a local coffee roaster, as a market penetration strategy.
The president of Rosco Life, Kenneth Choi, said he was confident that Uganda’s coffee has a home in South Korea.
“Uganda coffee has a high growth potential due to its intrinsic good quality. With improved quality control measures, the coffee will favourably compete with renowned brands from Colombia, Brazil and Kenya in terms of price and availability throughout the year.”
E-Mart, South Korea’s largest discount chain store, in its recent report said the sales of coffee beans, instant coffee mix and coffee beverages soared 14.7% in the first five months of 2012.
The positive trend is explained by change in lifestyle by the youth, increase of disposable income, and the mushrooming coffee drinking outlets and cafés in the country.