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최종편집 : 2019.9.16 월 16:04
NewsSocial & Political Desk
Knowing Hanwoo Inside Out and the Desired Direction of Hanwoo Industry
Yoo Seung-ju  |  jubabe.yoo@gmail.com
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승인 2011.11.02  21:16:11
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Korean native cattle (Hanwoo) is delicious, but Hanwoo, isn't cheap. According to the International Labor Organization, the cost of Hanwoo is the world's highest amongst beef. People often say that Hanwoo is more delicious since it is high in oleic acid, which decides the taste of the beef, and it is also fresher than other meat since the period of circulation is relatively shorter. But can theose two things be the ultimate explanation for athe price that is six times higher than U.S. beef?

First of all, let's draw a comparison of the quality between Hanwoo and imported meat. In this article, imported meat will mainly refer to United States meat considering its wide distribution and since in Korea, itstheir safety hasve been doubted by many. Hanwoo is chilled meat and is usually delivered to customers 14 days from the day it's made. Imported meat takes 25 days, which causes the relative loss of freshness. To offset that loss, imported meat has strength in safety. Currently, Hanwoo cannot be exported to any country due to its sub-standard safety. This is not to say Hanwoo is unsafe to eat, only not safe enough to pass the strict evaluation of the Office of International Epizootic. On the other hand, U.S. meat has passed the inspection practiced by the same organization, and is marketing throughout 100 countries over the world. Also, the amount of antibiotics detected in Hanwoo was anthe amount that wais three times higher than the U.S. meat, and twenty four times higher than meats from the Sweden or Norway/Norwegian meats. Overall, forrom all these reasons, there is no ground to say that Hanwoo is of better quality than any other meat except for the freshness of the meat.

So then, what could possibly justify the strikingly high price of Hanwoo? It can be explained as the marketing strategy of domestic stock farmers to promote Hanwoo Industries. They rely on Koreans's unusual preference for it’s own nation's goods. We especially take a liking for koreanKorean products, as seen in the case of the cellular phone market. Samsung, a Korean handset maker, manages to gain over 55 percent market share of the Korean smartphone market whereas only 8.9 percent holds in the global smartphone market. Therefore, it seems that Koreans believe Hanwoo would be of supreme quality because it's Korean-made, without bothering themselves to challenge it on the negatives and Korean cattle farmers are using our psychology to implement such a marketing strategy.


Is the marketing strategy working? Sadly, no. Despite the efforts of Hanwoo industries, they have failed to appeal many customers. The Hanwoo industry in ChonnamJeonnam Province said that Hanwoo must pursue differentiationa differentiation strategy by appealing the taste of it, since it is not cost competitive compared to U.S. beef. The reason why they can't nurture the industry is not because it is any less delicious but because it is too expensive. It is not hard to find the restaurants indicating the source of their meat as U.S, and the people that have no problem eating it. We hear news that customers are becoming lenient oin U.S. beef because of its price competitiveness. There are too many reasons why the Hanwoo Industry should revive, yet it is not so promising. Then what should they do?

When it comes to food, itthat is indispensable, and enjoyed by many., Iand if that food can only be sold to the customer base that is small -only in Korea-, the Hanwoo industry should change itsthe market strategy that can cover more people, rather than leaving their product as the prerogative of the rich. If they do so, they can use the psychology of Koreans that particularly prefer their own nation's products, to secure a larger customer base. With a larger customer base, an eEconomy of scale becomes possible which can bring them more profit. Koreans would rather choose to buy Hanwoo instead of U.S. beef if its price would beis just slightly higher than U.S. beef. Hanwoo farmers can reduce the retail price by lowering the production cost, which can be done by confirming the transparency of the commodity flow;, using less of foreign feed ingredients that areis costly and streamlining the circulation process by invigorating the direct dealing. If that becomes a reality, more people can enjoy delicious Hanwoo, and the Hanwoo Industry can grow up to be a big bonanza industry in Korea. Iand it is win-win for all.
 

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