Korean cuisine makes strides in Southeast Asian halal market

By Kim Geum-yi and Minu Kim
[Courtesy of SPC Paris Baguette]

South Korean food is gaining prominence in the halal market in Southeast Asia with a significant Muslim population.

Paris Baguette, a bakery brand under South Korea’s SPC Group, said Tuesday that it opened seven stores in Southeast Asia between November 8 and December 12.

It marks the highest number of store openings within a month since the brand’s entry into Southeast Asia in 2012.

The stores are located two in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, three in Singapore, and two in Surabaya and Medan, Indonesia.

The expansion aligns with Paris Baguette’s global premium brand strategy, resonating well with the rapid economic growth and consumer trends in Southeast Asian countries.

Paris Baguette has ventured into Southeast Asian markets by establishing joint ventures with local companies in Malaysia and Indonesia.

In August, the brand signed a master franchise contract with Berjaya Food Group and Middle Trade for expansion into the Philippines.

Furthermore, it is inaugurating a factory for local production in Johor Bahru in Malaysia to tap into the vast halal market, representing 24 percent of the world’s population.

Meanwhile, Korean favorites such as tteokbokki are also gaining popularity in Southeast Asia. Korean tteokbokki franchise brand ATTAL recently announced receiving halal certification for its food from JAKIM, one of the world’s top three halal certification bodies.

ATTAL obtained certification for ten products, including tteokbokki, fish cake soup, and jjajang sauce, becoming the first in Korea’s home meal replacement sector to achieve JAKIM halal certification.

The company aims to expand its presence in the halal market, planning entry into regions from Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia to the Middle East and Africa.

In addition, GOPIZZA, a Korean pizza brand specializing in single-serve pizzas, secured halal certification, establishing a dedicated factory in Jakarta, Indonesia, amid its pursuit of global markets.