Pioneering plant-based innovations: Selene Park’s journey at SIAL Paris 2022

How Rawga’s breakthrough in vegetable collagen conquered the global stage

At SIAL Paris 2022, one company stood out by making a profound impact on the future of sustainable ingredients. Rawga, a trailblazer in plant-based collagen, marked its remarkable debut by not only participating in the competition but also securing the prestigious Grand Prize in the raw materials category—the first Korean company to do so. In this exclusive interview, Selene Park, the Head Manager at Rawga, shares insights into their groundbreaking success, the strategic shifts that followed their accolades, and the steps they are taking towards a more sustainable future in both B2B and B2C markets. Join us as we delve into the story of Rawga’s innovative journey, exploring the challenges and triumphs of introducing vegetable collagen to the global market.

You took part in SIAL Paris in 2022. How did your show go?

Our debut at SIAL Paris was incredibly successful. It was our first time participating, and we became the first Korean company to win the Grand Prize in the raw materials category. We engaged in discussions with over 100 companies, gaining insights into the buyers’ needs and refining our approach.

Did you experience a “SIAL Innovation” effect?

Although our booth was located in the Korean Pavilion, away from the main “SIAL Innovation” display, a significant number of our visitors were drawn to us because they had seen the “SIAL Innovation” display and the magazine published by SIAL. This was particularly impressive as we hadn’t done any direct advertising.

Did you notice an increase in your sales as a result of this award and the visibility it brought?

Absolutely, more than half of our current sales are from companies that encountered us at SIAL Paris, either through meetings at the event or by seeing us featured in the SIAL Daily magazine for our plant-based prodcut. They remembered us and reached out, which often led to successful sales.

RAWGA, Its plant-based originand its high absorption rate

Did you change your marketing/communication strategy when you won the SIAL Innovation prize?

Winning the prize allowed us to shift our marketing strategy. Initially, we were promoting our innovative vegetable collagen source, but post-award, we began showcasing the award itself. This strategy proved effective in explaining our innovation to the market.

What made your brand successful?

We are pioneers in the development of vegetable collagen. Our success stems from robust technology backed by extensive research and a vertically integrated process. Our botanical collagen is organically produced and harvested in HACCP-certified facilities in Korea, ensuring safety and quality.

Have you changed your business model?

Yes, we have expanded from supplying raw materials to launching our own brand. This allows us to communicate the benefits of our ingredients directly to B2B buyers and B2C consumers. Our brand features a unique 2IN1 concept that combines botanical collagen with additional functional ingredients, and we currently offer 9 SKUs.

Looking back, what did you retain from your experience at SIAL Paris?

SIAL Paris taught us effective trade show marketing strategies. Recognising the importance of dedicated marketing at such events, we plan to have an exclusive 36m² booth at the next SIAL Paris and will engage in extensive promotion through a full-page advertisement in the SIAL Daily magazine during the first two days of the show. We are eager to participate in the “SIAL Innovation” challenge again, motivated by the substantial interest we observed last time.

SIAL Paris proved to be a transformative experience for Rawga, Intermediate Food Products. By participating in the event, they were able to leverage the trade show’s reach to build brand recognition, establish valuable connections, and position themselves for future growth through customer-centric innovation.

Since 1996, SIAL Innovation has been a springboard for the winning companies and selected products, offering visibility before, during and after the show, and numerous contact opportunities. Exhibitors involved in SIAL Innovation are committed to re-invention and bringing a new wind to various markets. 
Interested in participating in this year’s SIAL Innovation? Click here.

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