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Analysis of the Korean Beef Market: A Study of Hotel Buyers' Perspectives of Beef Imports from Three Major Sources Part II Open Access


Author or creator
Kim, Renee B.
Unterschultz, Jim
Veeman, Michele M.
Additional contributors
consumer behavior
international trade
beef market
Type of item
Under the WTO agreement, Korea is slated to liberalize its beef market by the year 2000. Decreasing government regulation and rapid economic growth promise significant growth in the Korean beef industry for foreign beef suppliers. As these opportunities develop, the competitive climate in this market will intensify. For Canada to gain a position in this market, a definitive and effective beef marketing program is necessary. According to the Canada Beef Export Federation market report (CBEF, 1994) on Korea, Canada promotes itself as a value-added grain-fed beef supplier to Korea. A primary target market is the Korean international hotel industry where imported beef is used in most of the beef dishes. This market segment consists of 9 \"super deluxe\" hotels which is equivalent to five star hotel rating and 11 \"deluxe\" hotels (four star rating) as classified by the Canadian Embassy in Seoul, Korea. In this market segment, decision makers for beef purchases are executive chefs and purchasing managers. The hotel executive chefs determine the type of beef cuts and the brand. The purchasing managers negotiate beef price with the suppliers and place purchase orders based on the chefs' supplier preference. The hotel purchasing managers are mostly native Koreans whereas the executive chefs are 50% non-Korean and 50% Korean. Thus, depending on each sub-groups' responsibilities and experience, the three sub-groups may differe in their perceptions towards imported beef from different countries. By comparing differences in preferences and perceptions about imported beef, differentiated marketing strategies can be developed and targeted at these three sub-groups. As shown in a previous study by Kim et al. (1996) on the Korean hotel sector, the U.S. gained a dominant position in the hotel sector by building a strong brand image. There was a strong consensus among the hotel buyers about the superior quality of U.S. beef. Hence, supplying good quality Canadian beef at a similar price may not be enough for Canadian suppliers to increase market share in the hotel sector. Canadian suppliers need specific strategies tailored to meet each sub-groups' needs and concerns. Differences in perceptions regarding imported beef are identified for Korean purchasing managers, Korean chefs and non-Korean chefs. This information can be used to aid Canadian beef suppliers to develop differentiated marketing strategies for each sub-group. The following section describes the methodology used in this study. The results of the survey study are presented in two separate sections: analysis of the quantitative study results and analysis of the qualitative study results. Recommendations on market strategies are made for each sub-group based on the analysis.
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