The organizing committee of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics has included kimchi, the traditional Korean side dish of fermented cabbage with a variety of spicy seasonings, on the menu for athletes taking part in the competition, an industry group said Thursday.

The Korean Food Buyers Association of Central and South America said the organizing committee plans to offer kimchi called “Oriental salad kimchi” to athletes during the August 6-22 competition.

“As soon as the organizing committee asked us to supply them with South Korea’s signature food in February, we contacted Daesang FNF for kimchi and decided to import 7.2 tons,” Ha Yun-sang, the leader of the association, said. Daesang FNF is South Korea’s leading kimchi producer.

The first shipment is scheduled to be delivered to the organizing committee via the port of Rio de Janeiro on Monday, with the remainder to come the next month.

The group, a gathering of buyers importing and distributing Korean agricultural foods in nine countries of Central and South America, was launched in October last year in Sao Paulo.

The region, which has a population of 600 million, is viewed as a great market of potential for Korean food at a time when the popularity of South Korea’s pop culture is still sweeping the region and a growing number of people have a keen interest in healthy food. (Yonhap)

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