Blueberries'

Blueberries' anti-oxidant properties make them attractive to health conscious South Koreans.

The vitamin-rich fruit was not well-known in the Korean peninsula 10 years ago but today, blueberry juices, jams, pies and pastries. Juices and jams run out easily on grocery shelves and local producers could hardly keep up with the demand.

A confectionary company popularized blueberry in the country a few years ago by coming up with pies made from the fruit. The pie became a hit and triggered other companies to produce other products made from blueberry, such as blueberry-flavored chewing gums.

Some 1,000 blueberry farms could only produce 1,500 tons of the fruit yearly, not enough to satisfy the South Koreans' appetite for the fruit. Growers even had to import moss peat to grow the shrub.

Agriculture authorities expect the number of blueberry farms to increase from 300 to 500 percent next year as a kilogram of the fruit is fetching $50 in department stores.

The country also plans to import blueberries from Chile and the U.S. to meet local demand.