From ‘Squid Game’ to BTS Special. Korean ramyun aiming to become the world’s number one

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As the demand for Korean ramen increases on the international stage, the food industry is increasing its capabilities to capture the taste of the world. It is in the mood to increase product production and market supply by establishing factories not only in Korea but also overseas.

According to the food industry, Samyang Foods held a completion ceremony at its Miryang plant in Miryang, Gyeongsangnam-do, on the 2nd of this month. The factory, which was established with five floors above ground and one basement floor, has the capacity to produce up to 600 million ramen per year. A Samyang Food official explained, “The Miryang plant will be in charge of producing export products.”

It is the first time in 30 years since Samyang Foods established a factory in Wonju, Gangwon Province. The establishment of the factory was decided as the Buldak brand gained worldwide popularity and export performance improved every year. Samyang Foods’ overseas sales increased fourfold in five years from 93 billion won in 2016 to 388.6 billion won last year.

Nongshim, famous for its Shin Ramyun, held a ceremony for the completion of its second factory in California, the USA on the 29th of last month. Built on an area of ​​26,800 square meters (8,100 pyeong), the factory can produce 350 million ramen a year. If the first plant is included, the annual production of ramen is expected to reach 850 million pieces.

Shin Dong-won, chairman of Nongshim, said at the completion ceremony, “The second factory will be the basis for speeding up Nongshim’s entry into the international market. In the mid-to-long term, the company plans to enter the Latin American market as well as Mexico.

The reason that major food companies have started to build factories one after another is that Korean ramyun is gaining popularity among overseas consumers.

According to the Korea Customs Service, Korea’s ramen exports last year amounted to 765.2 billion won. This is an increase of 8.3% from a year ago. Previously, there was a base burden on the export volume of ramyun that increased significantly in the aftermath of the Corona 19 in 2020, but the export volume of ramyun increased once again last year.

The industry predicts that this year’s ramen exports will increase compared to the previous year. Ramyun exports in March this year were estimated at 89 billion won, up 20% from the same period last year. It was the first time in March that the monthly exports of ramen exceeded $70 million.

The country where the product is popular is not limited to a specific region.

Exports to six Southeast Asian countries, including Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Singapore, increased by 11.2% compared to the previous year, and other countries, including the Middle East, also increased by 20.7%. In the US, it increased by 1.0%, and in China, it decreased by 2.7%, but it is believed to be due to the burden of freight costs.

In addition to the unique simplicity and taste of ramen, the industry sees the spread of Hallyu culture such as K-pop as a factor in popularity. It is analyzed that Nongshim Chapaguri (Chapagetti and Raccoon) appeared in the 2019 movie ‘Parasite’, Samyang Ramen appeared in the Netflix original series ‘Squid Game last year and the
the world paid attention.

Also, in the case of Buldak-bokkeummyeon, it became a hot topic in Las Vegas and other places in the United States as it participated as the main sponsor of the idol group BTS concert. According to Samyang Foods, 40,000 consumers visited the hot chicken promotion booth during the last 4 days of the BTS concert.

Samyang Foods plans to introduce a promotional booth where you can taste Buldak Fried Noodles at the Korea Festival ‘K-Pop Flex’ to be held in Frankfurt, Germany on the 14th of this month.

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