Fast Food

Nongshim Looking beyond the Domestic Ramen Market

Nongshim Co. is looking beyond the domestic ramen market.

Nongshim Co., the No. 1 player in the domestic ramen market, is setting its sights on the global market. The company is developing instant noodle products that can fascinate consumers in overseas markets.

The Korean ramen market in the third quarter amounted to 1,473.4 billion won, up 4.5 percent from the previous year, Nielsen IQ Korea said on Oct. 29. During the same period, the size of the container noodle market was 599.3 billion won, up 12.4 percent from the same period of last year. Many consumers enjoyed instant noodles at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the instant noodle market grew thanks to ramen companies’ marketing activities, analysts say.

Nongshim leads the domestic market with a 55.7 percent share, followed by Ottogi (23.4 percent), Samyang Foods (11.3 percent), and Paldo (9.6 percent).

Nongshim is expanding its overseas business based on its strong position in the Korean market. Nongshim chairman Shin Dong-won intends to increase the proportion of overseas sales in the company’s total sales to 50 percent by 2025. Nongshim racked up one trillion won in overseas sales for the first time last year. 

Currently, Nongshim operates overseas subsidiaries in six countries, including the United States, China, and Japan. It has production plants in the United States and China. This year, its second U.S. plant opened in Rancho Cucamonga, California, boosting the company’s U.S. production capacity to 850 million instant noodles per year. Its main products in the U.S. market are Shin Ramyun and Yukgaejang Bowl Noodle. Nongshim aims to attain US$800 million in sales in the North American market by 2025. It ranks fifth in the global ramen market.

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