SM Entertainment Launches SUM Market

David Lee, March 4, 2016, 8:55 a.m.


South Korean brands and freelance designers joined forces with globally popular K-pop stars as a precursor to expanding the outbound market, a local entertainment agency said on Friday. S.M. Entertainment, the country's largest star label by market capitalization, opened "SUM Market," a store that offers Korean manufactured food products with names, patterns, photos and other intellectual properties of its K-pop artists.

SUM Market offers products with "hallyu" packaging designs, including crispy seaweed snack "Exo Gim Me Gim Me," fruit preserves "Super Junior SuperJam" and bottled water "SHINee Sparkling Water." Hallyu refers to the global boom of Korean pop culture such as K-pop, TV series and films.

"EXO Gim Me Gim Me" resulted from a collaboration between S.M. and Gitdeum, a small South Korean maker of gim, or processed seaweed. The packing design of the gim product was inspired by the costume worn by S.M.'s K-pop boy band EXO in the music video of the band's hit song "Love Me Right," the star agency said.

Similarly, "Super Junior Superjam" and "SHINee Sparkling Water" are S.M.'s collaborations with Jamong International and E-mart. In the same building, S.M. also opened "SUM Cafe," a bistro cafe that offers the latest in trendy Korean cuisine. SUM Market and SUM Cafe are part of the entertainment giant's "creating shared value (CSV) project," which promotes K-trend and K-lifestyle in collaboration with popular Korean-made export items.

CSV is a business concept that links a company's competitiveness to its level of corporate social responsibility. The concept was first coined in the Harvard Business Review article written by Michael E. Porter and Mark R. Kramer, leading scholars of Harvard Business School in competitive strategy. "We hope that the project will become a marketing platform for (South Korean) companies, brands and individual creators," S.M. said in a press release.

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