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KGC creates Ginseng Museum Cafe in New York

Korean ginseng maker pushes global expansion amid growing interest in food items that boost the immune system

By Sep 17, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

KGC's Ginseng Museum Cafe in New York displaying red ginseng making process.
KGC's Ginseng Museum Cafe in New York displaying red ginseng making process.

Korea Ginseng Corporation (KGC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of KT&G Corporation, has set up its first interactive cafe in the global market where ginseng lovers can enjoy drinks, buy products and check out how the world-famous Korean red ginseng is made.

KGC on Sept. 16 said that it created the Ginseng Museum Cafe on 32nd Street in Manhattan, New York City, by renovating its previous ginseng store that had primarily focused on selling packaged products.

The refurbished place has bolstered the interactive side, just like a museum, so that the visitors can deepen their understanding of Korean red ginseng’s history, cultivation and production process as well as health benefits. The cafe also offers a brewery zone where visitors can check how the red ginseng extracts are being made in real-time.

KGC's Ginseng Museum Cafe is located on the 32nd Street and 5th Avenue of Manhattan, New York City.
KGC's Ginseng Museum Cafe is located on the 32nd Street and 5th Avenue of Manhattan, New York City.

KGC added that its US sales have grown rapidly due to growing interests in the country in food items that help boost the immune system. KGC’s ginseng sales on Amazon in the US last year grew by more than three times from 2019 figures.

The ginseng maker’s total annual revenue in 2020 was 1.3 trillion won ($1.1 billion), down 5.0% from 1.4 trillion won ($1.2 billion) in 2019. But its overseas sales in 2020 grew by 11.0% from 2019 to 147.9 billion won ($126 million).

Analysts highlight that KGC is having tough times this year due to the continued recession in the duty-free channel. The company’s total revenue made during the second quarter of this year was 259.3 billion won ($220 million), down 6.6% from the same period of last year.

“Creating a cultural space within New York City’s Koreatown area is a meaningful step for our company. We hope that more Americans and international visitors to the city will be able to deepen their experience and knowledge of the famous Korean red ginseng,” said KGC.

Write to Jong-kwan Park at pjk@hankyung.com

Daniel Cho edited this article.

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