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Nongshim buys more kelps to meet surging demand for chapaguri

Neoguri on kelp (Nongshim)
Neoguri on kelp (Nongshim)

Following the global popularity of chapaguri -- instant noodle dish that came into the limelight due to Oscar-winning movie “Parasite” -- Nongshim said Monday it is participating in auctions to purchase kelps, a key ingredient, to meet surging demand.

Chapaguri is a mixture of Nongshim’s Chapaghetti black bean instant noodle and Neoguri, a soup-based instant noodle. The menu was translated as “ram-don” in English subtitles in the movie.

According to Nongshim, a leading food company here, the amount of kelps used in producing Neoguri from January to April was 150 tons, up 30 percent from a year earlier.

The company usually buys about 400 tons of kelps, produced from Wando, South Jeolla Province, annually. But for this year, Nongshim said it has already used almost all of the supply, including the additional kelps it purchased around the end of last year.

For smooth supply of the products, Nongshim said it will participate in the daily kelp auction opening in Geumil Island, 20 kilometers east from Wando, for two months, starting from Monday.

Nongshim has been buying kelps from Wando since it first released Neoguri in 1982. As of this year, the accumulated purchase of kelps amount to 15,000 tons, the company said.

By Jo He-rim (