A north-east mineral water firm has gone Gangnam-style in its latest foray into international markets.
With sales to the EU on hold due to Brexit regulation changes, the Deeside Water Company – based in Ballater, Aberdeenshire – has looked elsewhere around the world for export potential.
South Korea, or more specifically the flashy Gangnam district of its capital, Seoul, has delivered a deal worth £100,000 to date.
Further orders for multiple shipments with a local distributor are in the pipeline, worth £10,000 a time.
Gangnam was made famous by Korean pop star Psy, with his 2012 global smash hit Gangnam Style and his unique dance taking the world by storm.
The video for the song quickly exceeded one billion views on YouTube, becoming the first recording to do so in the website’s history.
It reached the two billion mark less than two years after release and has now racked up more than four billion views.
Deeside Water already has at least one celebrity fan in South Korea – not Psy but singer and actor Park Hyo-Shin, who enjoys drinking the product and is regularly seen with a bottle.
The water has also featured on television shows in the Far East country.
And there is now a Korean distribution deal in the offing for the Deeside Water Co’s new moisturising cream, Fuarain, which unites the mineral water with wild herbs and botanicals, and is said to deliver “advanced skincare results”.
Family-owned Deeside Water Co is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, bottling spring water that flows naturally from ancient healing springs in the Cairngorms National Park, close to Balmoral Castle.
The company said it had already shipped more than 250,000 bottles to South Korea, where it was popular because of its “purity and clinically proven health benefits”.
Managing director Martin Simpson added: “We export to many countries, including Japan, Russia and the EU.
“Paperwork issues around exporting to the EU make that impossible just now but this Korea contract has been fantastic to secure.
“The springs have a long and interesting history dating back to 1760 when they became famous for the healing waters. The rich heritage and natural source in a remote and stunning part of Scotland is something that really appeals to overseas markets.”
Korean distributor Myeong-Yin Kaizen Co, of Gangnam, is promoting the water to health-conscious customers, highlighting benefits for good skin hydration and antioxidant effects.
Myeong-Yin Kaizen Co chief executive Chulho Kim said: “Korean customers like the purity and fresh taste of Deeside Mineral Water, as well as its Scottish heritage.
“Users tell us they feel good drinking it and that it helps their skin. We are also really interested in the company’s latest venture, Fuarain skincare and we are looking at importing it too.”
Mr Simpson added: “Launching a new product during lockdown was perhaps risky but we are seeing growth in online sales for Fuarain and interest from retailers in the UK and abroad.
“It’s already been shortlisted for a global beauty award as ‘best new premium skincare product’ in the highly-acclaimed Pure Beauty Awards.
“Koreans are well-known for looking after their skin and it seems a natural step to supply Fuarain to customers who already know what drinking Deeside Mineral Water can do for their skin.”