History

We walk on the right path towards the best, a value firmly kept for over 120 years.

1899-1952

Beginning of a deep-rooted history

The great starting point in the histroy of Korean red ginseng begins in 1899 with the Samjeonggwa department established within the royal palace of the Korean Empire. As the birthplace and historical origin of the KGC Ginseng Corporation, this is the moment when the Korean red ginseng business was born.

(36th year of King Goyong’s reign, Korean Empire) Establishment of Samjeong inside the Naejangwon palace department

1899

(36th year of King Goyong’s reign, Korean Empire) Establishment of Samjeong inside the Naejangwon palace department

1899

Enactment and promulgation of red ginseng monopoly law (Bill no. 14)

1908

First usage of term “Korean ginseng” (Goryeosam)

1928

Republic of Korea, conversion to Yeomsam (pickled ginseng) Division within Exclusive Sales Office of Ministry of Finance

1948

Establishment of 5-year plan for ginseng trials, test cultivation site selected in Buyeo, Chungnam Province

Kaeseong Exclusive Sales Office moved to Buyeo, Chungnam

1951

Kaeseong Exclusive Sales Office promoted to branch office

1952

(36th year of King Goyong’s reign, Korean Empire) Establishment of Samjeong inside the Naejangwon palace department

1899

1956-1995

Completed construction of Korea Ginseng Factory, the world’s largest red ginseng production center

Globalization of red ginseng, from Korea to the world

Further spurring of red ginseng business via completion in 1978 of Buyeo Factory (the Korea Ginseng Factory), the world’s largest red ginseng manufacturing facility, a milestone in the history of Korean red ginseng manufacturing. Exports of Korean ginseng also took place to countries around the world, with $100 million in ginseng exports achieved in 1987. Conversion to a monopoly took place thereafter, with the founding in 1989 of the “Korea Tobacco and Ginseng Corporation”, the predecessor to KGC.

Completion of red ginseng manufacturing plant in Buyeo, Chungnam

1956

Completion of red ginseng manufacturing plant in Buyeo, Chungnam

1956

Ginseng exports to Taiwan(China), Hongkong(SAR), Thailand

1960-1970

Export expansion to Asian regions including the Philippines and Japan, along with European areas such as the UK and Germany

1960-1970

Expanded exports to the Middle East

1960-1970

1st International Ginseng Symposium is held

1974

Completion in 1978 of Buyeo Factory in the Korea Ginseng Factory, the world’s largest red ginseng manufacturing facility

1978

Launching of Korea Ginseng and Tobacco Research Institute

Achievement of $100 million in ginseng exports

1981

Founding of the Korea Monopoly Bureau

1987

Founding of Korea Tobacco & Ginseng Corporation

1989

Establishment of subsidiary Korea Ginseng Export Corporation

1992

Hongkong(SAR) corporation established

1995

Completion of red ginseng manufacturing plant in Buyeo, Chungnam

1956

1999-2015

The succession of tradition and authenticity with a new start as a red ginseng company

CheongKwanJang franchise launch and management innovation

1999 Launch of Korea Ginseng Corporation (KGC Ginseng Corporation), an independent corporation spun off from the Korea Tobacco & Ginseng Corporation. Playing a leading role in raising the status of Korea as a ginseng production country and continuing the tradition, we have stepped forward as a health-functional food company specialized in red ginseng. In addition, we maintained our status as a luxury brand in 2004 through the successful introduction of CheongKwanJang as a franchise.

Founding of Korea Ginseng Corporation (KGC Ginseng Corporation)

1999

Founding of Korea Ginseng Corporation (KGC Ginseng Corporation)

1999

Publication of “Shim” for extra-corporate megazine to customer

2001

Taiwan(China) branch established

2002

Subsidiary KGC Sales Co Ltd. Established

US branch established

2003

Buyeo Ginseng Museum opened

2004

CheongKwanJang Franchise launched

2004

Ethical management declaration and enactment of ethics charter

Award winner, 7th Korea Franchise Awards

China branch established

2006

Selected as No. 1 brand power in Korean industry

2007

Selected as No. 1 brand power in Korean industry

Winner, Korea First Brand Grand Prize

2007

Conversion to subsidiaries in Taiwan(China), China, United States

Establishment of Taiwan(China) limited subsidiary of CheongKwanJang

2009

Acquired Saudi GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) certification

2009

Launching of Good Base brand

2010

Founding of KGC Ginseng Corporation Sports Team

2010

Establishment of Japanese branch

Opening of KGC Human Resources Development Center

2011

Opening of “CheongKwanJang Spa G”

2011

Conversion to corporation in Japan

Presidential Citation, 13th Agricultural and Fishery Food Export Tower Awards

CheongKwanJang Members reaches 3 million

2012

Founding of Korea Ginseng Corporation (KGC Ginseng Corporation)

1999

2013-2018

Securing future growth engines through H&B business diversification

Laying the foundation for a global comprehensive health company

After the successful establishment of “CheongKwanJang” franchise, we built a foundation for business expansion and focused on the securing of future growth engines to actively respond to the market. Besides the red ginseng-centered business structure, cosmetics and red ginseng products, we diversified our H&B (health & beauty) business portfolio in the health food field to lay the foundation as a “global comprehensive health company”.

Korea Ginseng Factory acquires ISO 22000 international food safety management system standard certification

2013

Korea Ginseng Factory acquires ISO 22000 international food safety management system standard certification

2013

Selection of “Korea Ginseng Saponin Data Center” by Korea Ginseng Research Institute

Islamic halal certification

2014

Islamic halal certification

2014

Extra-corporate distributed megazine “Shim” winner at 2014 Korea Communication Awards

2014

Second factory (Wonju Factory) completed at Korea Ginseng Factory

“World’s No. 1 Ginseng Brand” certification acquired from Euromonitor

2015

Launching of “Ginipet” brand

2015

First health functional food company to achieve 1 trillion won in sales

Opening of healthy lifestyle café “Sapoon Sapoon”

2016

Cosmetics research institute established for R&D headquarters

2016

Opening of specialized online shopping mall “CheongKwanJang Mall”

“New Donginbi” brand launched

2017

Opening of “LOUNGE 1899”

2018

CheongKwanJang Members reaches 5 million<

Launching of “Once in a Moon” brand

2018

Presidential Citation, 19th Korea Franchise Awards

2018

Korea Ginseng Factory acquires ISO 22000 international food safety management system standard certification

2013

2019-

Leap forward to become world’s best “Global comprehensive H&B company”

In celebration of the 120th anniversary of operations and the 20th anniversary since the company’s establishment, we proclaimed “Vision 2025” in 2019 in order to make the leap forward to becoming the world’s best global H&B company. Leading change and innovation by expanding our global health and beauty business base towards an era of 2 trillion won in sales and discovering a variety of new materials, we are creating a future that provides a healthier tomorrow.

Announced ‘Vision 2025’ and published corporate anniversary book to commemorate the 120th anniversary of the ginseng business and KGC Company’s 20th anniversary

First health functional food company to achieve 1 trillion won in sales for 4 years running

2019

Announced ‘Vision 2025’ and published corporate anniversary book to commemorate the 120th anniversary of the ginseng business and KGC Company’s 20th anniversary

First health functional food company to achieve 1 trillion won in sales for 4 years running

2019

No. 1 place for 7 years running in red ginseng processed food category of the KCSI (Korea Customer Satisfaction Index)

Acquired “Very Best” standing in fair trade agreement implementation evaluation

2019

Cumulative sales of ‘KGC Korean Red Ginseng Everytime’ exceeded 200 million packets

2020

1st place in health food category on K-BPI (Korea Brand Power Index) index for 14 consecutive years

2020

Announced ‘Vision 2025’ and published corporate anniversary book to commemorate the 120th anniversary of the ginseng business and KGC Company’s 20th anniversary

First health functional food company to achieve 1 trillion won in sales for 4 years running

2019