South Korea's exports of dried seaweed hit a new record on the back of growing awareness of healthy food around the globe, data showed Sunday.
Outbound shipments of dried seaweed, called "gim" in Korean, reached $670 million over the January-October period, up 20.4 percent from a year earlier, according to the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries.
The ministry noted the combined export volume came to $700 million as of Nov. 10, surpassing the previous record of $690 million for the entire year of 2021.
Dried seaweed is usually roasted with sesame oil and fine salt to be served as a side dish in Korean dining. Snacks made of gim have gained popularity among foreigners in recent years.
The ministry attributed the strong overseas demand to foreigners' rising appetite for dried seaweed as a low-calorie and healthy snack.
By destination, the United States was the top buyer with $150 million so far, followed by Japan with $140 million. China accounted for $90 million as well, the data showed.
The ministry earlier vowed to expand seaweed exports to $1 billion by the year 2027. (Yonhap)