In a situation in which side effects of carbonated drinks such as obesity and tooth decay are becoming serious issues worldwide, one resident company of Seoul Food Startup Center TOMIN (CEO Jeon Eun-kyung) is receiving attention. AVING News met Jeon Eun-kyung, CEO of TOMIN, who came out to offer alternative drinks made with agricultural products from Korea, at the Seoul Food Startup Center on June 18 and listened to her story.
Q1. Company introduction
Jeon: We established TOMIN in November 2019. The company name TOMIN is a compound word of “TO (land)” and “MIN (people),” meaning benefiting the land and people. By making healthy and safe beverages, we want to contribute to agriculture and rural areas and provide beneficial food to people.
Q2. Background for developing the product
Jeon: TOMIN’s sparkling drink consists of three types, “Shinekling,” “Peachkling,” and “Rabongkling.” We made carbonated drinks by extracting the juice made from agricultural products and fruits produced in Korea. To make up for the taste, we used fruit juice from the fruits produced in Korea. For those who are worried about the high calorie and too much sugar, this drink can be a great alternative, providing healthy drink without the burden of calories.
Q3. What are the features of the product?
Jeon: Knowing that it is difficult to know where and how the fruit is harvested and processed when making fruit beverages, we oversee everything from purchasing raw ingredients to processing and beverage production. In addition, raw ingredients such as shine muscat, peach, and hallabong can be used as local specialties, and since they are seasonal fruits, you can enjoy the season when drink them.
Compared to conventional carbonated drinks that contain artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and sucralose to sweeten them, TOMIN’s drinks use only natural sweeteners, so anyone can enjoy a healthy, clean and refreshing taste.
Q4. Product performance
Jeon: Since carbonated drinks have a high minimum production quantity, it is not easy for a small company to start with it. So, we knocked on the door of crowdfunding, which can promote our products to many consumers even though we are not recognized. Shinekling, which was first introduced through crowdfunding, reached the funding amount of close to 60 million won, and at the encore funding that followed, it reached more than 100 million won. Since then, thanks to the response from consumers, we launched Peachkling and Rabongkling and achieved a cumulative funding amount of 400 million won for one year, and successfully entered online stores like Market Kurly, Coupang, and Rocket Delivery.
Q5. Future plans
Jeon: Starting with Hong Kong at the beginning of this year, we went overseas, and we are currently discussing exports with various regions such as Singapore, Vietnam and China. We are going to increase export with this.
In the future, we are going to launch Berrykling with strawberry and blackberry juice produced in Korea, and we are also going to introduce snacks that go well with the beverages.
The global news network AVING News has begun holding the MIK HOT SPOT (Made in Korea Online Exhibition) to help small and medium-sized companies enter the market and attract investment 365 days a year. AVING News held 976 exhibitions since 2005 with astonishing results with 112,446 exhibitors, 126.90 million visitors, 1,073 average visitors per company, and 123,793 monthly average visits per online exhibition.
The MIK HOT SPOT online exhibition is scheduled to be held regularly according to the field, target market, and participating institutions, and it will be presented as a new type of online business by transforming the know-hows and values of the participating companies according to the trend. Companies that want to participate can apply and apply through the marketing support projects from supporting institutions in the local governments. Refer to the institutions for more information.