Behind Story
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Behind Story

Until CJ CheilJedang became the leader of globalization of Korean food

The story of ‘gim’ we didn’t know

The story of ‘gim’ we didn’t know
Until the K-Food fever

Gim is a seaweed that has long been loved by Koreans as a side dish

This ‘gim’ has transformed over the years and has recently been seen leading the Hallyu in food.
Let’s introduce the various transformations and hidden stories of gim, which has emerged as the leader of the K-Food fever.

Gim, from a rare local specialty to a healthy well-being food!

Gim is so familiar and loved by everyone from children to adults.
Gim, which has long been loved by Koreans, is the first-generation cultured seaweed of Korea, and has the longest history in the aquaculture industry.

When did people begin to eat gim?

Well, gim appears in the anecdotes about Yeonorang Seonyeo in the Memorabilia of the Three Kingdoms, and is recorded as haeeui and haetae in the ancient literature of the Joseon Dynasty like Jasaneobo and Gyeongsangdo Jiriji. So, we can see that gim has a long history exceeding 400 years. The current name ‘gim’ though first appeared in the Joseon Dynasty. King Injo of the Joseon Dynasty really liked the gim on the royal table, and asked his subjects what it was called. A subject said, "It doesn’t have a name, but it was made by a certain Mr. Gim of Gwangyang." King Injo ordered the subjects to "name it gim after that man," hence the name gim. Since then, it has been called gim after the family name of Yeo-ik Gim (金汝翼), who cultured gim for the first time and offered it to the king, and it has now become the most popular side dish in Korea today.

From the royal table to the tables of citizens
Characteristics of gim by era. ~Joseon Dynasty period:The royal table ‘An offering to the king’ > 1910s - 1960s:Exported to Japan ‘Local specialty’ > 1970s:Small-quantity production using traditional methods ‘Premium food’ > 1980s-1990s:Innovation of seaweed processing technology ‘Popular food’ > 2000s~:Differentiated health and taste ‘Well-being food’

Now, seaweed has become so commonplace that it can be served at any time, but in the past, ordinary citizens could hardly ever eat it. They could only eat ‘seaweed’ on special days. The popularization of seaweed began in the 1980s during which the seaweed processing technology was innovated, further resulting in the development of seasoned seaweed. As savory sesame oil and perilla oil were pasted on seaweed, and seasoned salt was sprayed on, it gained popularity as a side dish for cooked rice and lunchboxes, and as such, various types of seaweed began to appear one after another. In the 2000s, due to the well-being trend, healthy seaweed products were introduced and exported throughout the world. As such, it began to attract attention overseas as a low-calorie healthy food.

Korea, the country of seaweed, is reaching beyond Asia to the world

No. 1 exporter of gim in the world

‘Kimchi’ or ‘ginseng’ are known as the typical representative products in Korea. But do you know that ‘seaweed’ is exported in greater quantities than them? Korea’s seaweed production is No. 2 in the world following China, but its seaweed exports are No. 1.According to the Korea Customs Service’s export and import statistics of December 2017, Korea’s seaweed exports first exceeded KRW 500 million. Seaweed exports of KRW 500 million are the first in the world. Seaweed, which used to be eaten as a side dish, gained popularity overseas as a low-calorie healthy snack. Currently, about half of domestic seaweed production is exported.

Korean ‘gim’ exported to 109 countries around the world

Under the influence of Hallyu and K-Pop, the number of foreigners visiting Korea is increasing, and they are naturally exposed to our food culture. At the same time, gim consumption is seen to be increasing as well. As a result, exports to the global market have increased, and the number of countries to which it is exported has almost doubled from 49 countries to 109 countries in just 10 years. The main gim-producing countries of the world are Korea, Japan and China, but it is consumed in more than 100 countries around the world. Gim is now a food that is enjoyed by people around the world, not just in Asia.

Globalization of seaweed!
The ‘seaweed snack’
that has captivated the taste buds of
people around the world

Traditional seaweed was eaten with cooked rice as a side dish. As seaweed has been globalized, seaweed products in the form of snacks, which have various tastes added to them, have been developed, and even now, a new seaweed market has been formed. Various seaweed products, ranging from seasoned seaweed, such as wasabi-flavored seaweed, kimchi-flavored seaweed and bulgogi-flavored seaweed, to sweet and salty dried seaweed (gim-jaban) and dried seaweed (gim-bugak) are regarded as a must-eat foods by tourists visiting Korea.

Fire-grilled gim

As the fire-grilled gim is grilled at a temperature exceeding 700ºC in the old traditional way, it is much crispier. You can feel the original taste of the gim that mom used to make for us. Gim is an affordable indulgence for not only children, but also everyone in the family can enjoy gim! You can enjoy crispy gim when you have no appetite, as a side dish for children or even as a light snack eaten with drinks for adults, 365 days a year.

A new health snack, bibigo Chip

bibigo Chip is a premium snack that re-interprets traditional gim-bugak in a modern way. As it is made of the gim found only in the clean waters of Korea, it has an excellent savory taste that stimulates your appetite. The combination of three snacks made of crispy brown rice, corn and potatoes and salty gim makes for a great, low-calorie healthy snack! Enjoy our healthy snack bibigo Chip!

Gim becomes a symbol of K-Food

As a side dish for cooked rice and even just as a snack, seaweed tastes good no matter how you eat it. ‘Seaweed’ has become a symbol of K-Food that advertises Korea to the world, and is leading Hallyu in food. ‘Seaweed,’ which has captivated the taste buds of people around the world, raises foreigners’ preference for Korean food, and encourages them to try something new.We look forward to seeing how seaweed will continue to evolve, and in what form it will be served on our table and the table of people around the world.