Two prominent South Korean women’s magazines are featuring U.S. beef in their December issues, signaling a possible change in the public attitude toward U.S. beef in this key export market.

Woman Chosun and Woman Sense each produced lengthy and very positive articles in their current issues that are targeted to a key audience – the housewives who purchase groceries for family meals. One editor already has reported that the articles have been positively received.

The timing of the articles is fortuitous, coinciding with the return of U.S. beef to the “big box” retailers that serve Korean consumers.

U.S. Meat Export Federation staff in Seoul have been engaged in an ongoing education campaign to help South Korean reporters better understand the science behind food safety and the comprehensive food safety protocols utilized by the U.S. beef industry. This has laid the foundation with editors for their decision to again feature stories about U.S. beef in their publications.

U.S. beef exports to South Korea have rebounded in recent months. Korean media reported earlier this week that since sales resumed a week ago at the “big box” discount stores:

  • Lotte Mart had sold a total of 79 metric tons (174,163 lbs.) of U.S. beef. During the same period, 29.5 tons (65,035 lbs.) of Australian beef had been sold.

  • Home Plus stores sold 119.9 tons (264,331 lbs.) of U.S. beef for the week, 10% more than Australian beef.

  • And at E-Mart, Australian beef was discounted and narrowly outsold U.S. beef. A total of 175 tons (385,805 lbs.) of U.S. beef was sold at E-Mart for the week compared with 180 tons (396,828 lbs.) of Australian beef.
-- USMEF release