Persimmon Frappé: Food Innovation Within Reach

I’m a big fan of persimmons. Persimmons are popular in Korea, Japan, China, and Vietnam. It only comes out in late fall and that’s why someone calls persimmon “the mango of autumn.”

There are two types of persimmons as far as I know. The firm one is what we call “dan-gham (단감)” and its texture somewhat feels like carrot. The other one is soft and we call it “hong-shi (홍시)” and it is very juicy and sweet (but not sour.) As persimmon has lots of Vitamin A & C, people in Korea often make them dry food or store it in the freezer so that they can enjoy its wonderful taste and texture throughout the year.  

[ Soft Persimmon ]

Anyhow, the store few minutes walking down the street from my office has great food innovation and came up with “Persimmon Frappé.” Basically, it is a persimmon smoothie. If you’ve tried Jamba Juice or Frappuccino at Starbucks, you know what it feels like.  Persimmons taste ever better if it is served icy cold. Smart coffee store owner is making this delicious fruit more accessible to the general public in the best format I can ever think of.  Unfortunately, I was not able to locate the real picture of Persimmon Frappe as in it is too new to be carried over the Internet. (I guess?) However, the photo below has captured most similar outfit of Persimmon Frappe that I recently tried here in Seoul.

[ Mango & Apricot  Frappe ]

You may find persimmon frappe recipe here on the Life’s Smörgåsbord blog. Just simply replace mango and apricots with persimmons. Maybe, get rid of rum portion if you’re serving it virgin.

Is Starbucks selling persimmon frappe anytime soon like they’ve done for green tea frappuccino? I think it will make great sales. By the way, check out Starbucks founder’s recent investment into the Pink Berry (Read recent article on $27.5M investment to the Pink Berry featured on the Fortune magazine.) It is another cult food innovation designed by Korean-American: a failed restaurateur and a former night club bouncer after great surge of healthy yogurt ice cream in Korea.


Early Adopter’s Heaven: Strong Media Influence


Korea is a land of great innovation. Korea is also known to be one of greatest test-beds for new technologies and consumer products. There are many new comers here and there with great innovations, but the market is hugely influenced by consumer web communities like DC-INSIDE ( or (


There are over 800 million postings on the DC-INSIDE and it is well-known for active user communication through its web bulletin board. Chainless short comments from random members on any posting is attracting more users and also giving valuable customer insights back to its users. (Let’s get rid of bells and whitsles. It’s just fun to visit and read whatever people comment.)

Consumer-driven communities are continuously evolving in Korea and they are making strong-er impact than ever on consumer behavior and purchase decision and it is building huge media power capturing ads and media sponsorships from major corporations like other Web 2.0 companies. People are rarely distracted by sponsored-ads, though, due to straight-forward conversations among users that often filter out blind promotions or sales pitches. Anyhow, if you want to meet up with first-hand opinions of new gadgets and consumer electronics, just come and search through widely open online communities. That’s where you can find real innovation and insightful consumer feedbacks.