Wellfish (WELL-MADE FISH, CEO Jeong Yeo-wool), a resident company of Seoul Food Startup Center, was also selected as one of the 1000 national innovative companies as a stock fishery solution startup in Korea. We met Wellfish CEO Jeong Yeo-wool at the Seoul Food Startup Center on June 18, and listened to the story of her ambition to make the hub that can solve everything from supplying fish to product development and sales channel expansion to encourage more young people to enter the fishery industry.
Q1. Company introduction
Jeong: Due to an imbalance between supply and demand, a large amount of Korean fish is being accumulated every year. Accordingly, Wellfish was established in July 2020 to solve the problems in consuming fish and finding sales channels. We wanted to make it easier and more convenient for consumers to access fish by developing a variety of convenience foods that fit the consumer’s convenience.
Due to the characteristics of fish (fishy smell, storage method, expiration date, etc.), it is difficult to use the same facilities as other foods. Early startups that do not have a manufacturing plant had so much difficulty because there was no space to make prototypes with fish. We are experiencing difficulties in this part still, and to solve this problem, we are preparing our own production facilities.
Q2. About our product
Jeong: We are running DRUNKEN FISH, a wellness fish snack brand. Baked Pollack Skin Chips is our first snack made by roasting pollack skins.
We found out that people didn’t want pollack skin that are fried, so we made the baked version of it, without frying it. We developed three of the most popular flavors: original, wasabi, and spicy.
Q3. Background for developing the product
Jeong: Under the slogan “FROM THE SEA, IT’S BETTER FOR YOU,” we are developing snacks by using fish, without having to worry about anything else. Since we began this business to solve the problems of producers for innovation in the fishery industry, the first priority for us was to use fish when we make the products. There are products that are being developed in collaboration with the Fisheries Department of Tongyeong-si.
While running the business, I realized that people like eating fish with drinks, and through a lot of pivoting, we created the snack brand that can be enjoyed with alcohol.
Q4. Future plans
Jeong: We plan to gradually release anchovy snack, dumplings, sundae, eel, and we aim to advance overseas through the development of highly processed foods. Like the second fried seaweed snack, we want to make products that can enhance the competitiveness of fish produced in Korea. Furthermore, we are planning to make various products so that many people can enjoy seafood at home comfortably by reaching to rice side dishes or various HMR types.
Q5. Any last words you would like to say?
Jeong: Wellfish’s master plan is to create a fish cluster. Currently, the fishery industry has high barrier, so it is hard for young people to enter without any connection.
In this regard, I want to build a hub where anyone can make a variety of products by using fish, given that they have ingenious ideas and passion. All team members are working hard with a mission to become a leading seafood company and create a path that anyone who has dreams can try.
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.