Nongshim, Korea’s largest maker of instant noodles, is seeking to export its flagship product Shin Ramyeon to over 100 countries next year by capitalizing on the growing popularity of “K-food” overseas.
The nation’s most popular ramyeon is currently sold in about 90 countries.
“Nongshim strives to become the world’s No. 1 food company,” a Nongshim spokesman said. ”We would like Shin Ramyeon to help us achieve the goal and become Korea’s first food item sold in over 100 countries. To make that happen, we will more aggressively make inroads into the still-untapped foreign markets.”
The company first began exporting Shin Ramyeon in 1987. It expects overseas sales will reach 250 billion won ($227 million) this year, up from 200 billion won in 2013 and 71 billion won in 2007.
Nongshim spokesman said the instant noodle’s tasty flavor has been received well by consumers around the world, stressing that the firm produces it using only high-quality ingredients. ”Besides its universally popular taste, Shin Ramyeon has become popular not only among ethnic Koreans residing abroad, but also among non-Koreans, thanks to our effective marketing.”
The instant noodle is on a shopping list of many consumers in Japan, China and other Asian countries, according to the company. The product has also become a popular food item in the Middle East and South America on the back of “hallyu,” or the Korean cultural wave.
“Korean music, TV dramas and movies are really popular in Asia, the Middle East and South America. Shin Ramyeon and other local food products have benefited from Korea’s improving image abroad,” said the spokesman.
Nongshim introduced Shin Ramyeon in October 1986, which helped the company solidify its No. 1 position over Samyang and other local instant noodle makers. The firm has created many TV commercial featuring popular celebrities to promote the product.
In August, the company overhauled Shin Ramyeon’s package design and upgraded its powder soup for the first time in 28 years.
This year, Nongshim expects Shin Ramyeon sales will reach 500 billion won, up from 480 billion won in 2013.
By Lee Hyo-sik
February 17, 2016