I really don’t know where this story has come from, because among frequenters of LKL’s Facebook group no-one will admit to having seen any Korean food products in any branch of Waitrose. And personally, neither have I, in Canary Wharf, King’s Road Chelsea, East Sheen, Marylebone High Street, or any other Waitrose store I frequent. Nevertheless, the Daily Mail has the story (in an article dated 26 April), so it must be true.
The article itself doesn’t add much to the classy headline. It’s always easy to grow from a low base, so the reported 42% increase in Waitrose soju sales is not going to have Jinro’s share price rocketing just yet. Mysteriously, “the likes of Chinese cabbage, sesame seeds and tofu are beginning to fly off the shelf,” according to the retailer. The most annoying quote in the vague article is “The sales boost comes amid estimations that South Korea could become one of the world’s top ten exporters of food by 2030.” No detail is given as to who made such an estimate. Still, maybe the former first lady can sit back in satisfaction and claim some credit that maybe her hansik campaign is beginning to have some effect, even though she has now moved on.