Salon du Chocolat Seoul 2020
January 10th to January 12th, 2020
COEX Hall D, Seoul Korea
The Salon du Chocolat is an international exhibition first launched in France in 1995. The Salon du Chocolat Seoul 2020, January 10th to January 12th at COEX Hall D was the sixth show held in Korea. The show was organized by Exporum. The exhibition also held shows for chocolatiers and fashion designers, pastry shows, choco seminars and chocolate cooking experiences.
Exhibits: Cocoa, Chocolate, Growers, Raw Materials, Beverage, Bakery, Dessert, Machin & Equipment, Packing, Interior Accessory, Franchise, Associations etc.
2018 Exhibit Results
● 35,000 Visitors
The entrance to the exhibition hall was full of the scent of sweetness. As the opening day was a working day, the exhibition had limited visitors however, the number of visitors is expected to grow during the weekend.
The booths which were near the entrance were international groups and embassies. The Ghana booth was the first booth that one saw when entering the exhibition. There were also booths from Vietnam, Czech Republic, Guatemala, Ecuador, Mexico and other countries.
Next to the international booths, there was the ‘Chocolate Dress Room’ which displayed chocolate fashion items that are showcased during the Cacao Show. The Cacao Show was a runway show that offered visitors the opportunity to enjoy music, fashion and chocolate designs.
Towards the middle of the exhibition hall is the Choco Art section displaying various chocolate art from sculptures to small size chocolate houses that visitors could not resist.
An ongoing seminar was in place by Ghana’s delegation which was the year’s County of Honor. They were explaining the opportunities and steps of investing in Ghana focusing on the Cacao sectors and specific information regarding the health benefits of Cacao.
There were many other events in place included in the Cacao Show, Choco Demo, Choco land and others. These events are one of the main attractions of the exhibition. It allows visitors to have more interaction with the exhibitors and provides a better connection.
It would be difficult to compare to the exhibition in 2019 due to its differences, but there are pros and cons to each show. In 2019, the exhibition was somewhat mixed with the coffee and chocolate industry while this year it was more focused on the chocolate industry. However, the number of exhibitors dropped to around 80 companies which a lot less than last year. There was also more bean to bar companies last year when the International Cocoa Organization was sponsoring the show.
General Market Information
The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (MAFRA) reported in 2016 that the chocolate industry growth rate was an average of 1.7% from 2011 to 2015 resulting in market size of KRW 1.15 trillion. In 2017, the retail market grew but domestic chocolate production decreased due to imports of premium chocolate. The tariffs on chocolate is 0 following the FTAs with the US, EU and other Asian countries. Imported chocolate was initially distributed by domestic confectionery companies which made it possible for premium chocolate brands to flourish in the Korean market.
The introduction of premium chocolate changed consumers' attitude towards chocolate. Consumers started to show interest in how chocolate is made and the concept of bean to bar chocolate. As the price and stable supply were difficult it was not easy to have for the bean to bar industry to grow. However, in 2016, the bean to bar chocolate segment gained popularity with the public and cacao bean imports started to stabilize after 2017. Korea was late to introduce the bean to the bar market compared to the US and Japan but we believe that it will catch up resulting in rapid development.
There are many possibilities for the chocolate market in Korea but it will require constant efforts in marketing and promotion to keep up with the competition.