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Instant noodle makers see 2020 sales jump amid pandemic

(Yonhap)
(Yonhap)
Sales of South Korea's top instant noodle makers posted strong sales in 2020 thanks to brisk demand amid the coronavirus pandemic, data showed Wednesday.

Nongshim Co. said its sales of instant noodles, or "ramyeon" in Korean, came to 2.09 trillion won ($1.85 billion) last year, up 16.3 percent from the previous year, according to the data from the Financial Supervisory Service.

It marks the first time for Nongshim's ramyeon sales to top the 2 trillion-won mark and the amount accounted for 79 percent of the company's total top line.

Nongshim, the country's top instant noodle maker, said demand for ramyeon appears to have increased temporarily last year due to social distancing measures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nongshim said overseas demand was strong for its flagship Shin Ramyun and Chapaguri, a signature noodle dish from the Oscar-winning film "Parasite." Shin Ramyun is a spicy brand, and Chapaguri is a mixture of Chapaghetti, instant black bean noodles, and Neoguri, spicy Korean udon-like noodles.

Nongshim's sales in the US soared 26.5 percent on-year to 250.2 billion won, with those in China spiking 28.2 percent to 218.3 billion won.

Other instant noodle makers also reported brisk sales. Samyang Foods Co. said its instant noodle sales surged 20.9 percent on-year to 591.1 billion won, which took up more than 91 percent of its total sales.

Ottogi Co. said sales of its instant noodle and other noodle products rose 8.4 percent from a year earlier to 700 billion won, in a turnaround from a 0.8 percent decline in 2019.

Paldo Co. said its ramyeon sales came to 297.1 billion won, up 9.2 percent from a year earlier, with exports alone soaring nearly 43 percent to 62 billion won. (Yonhap)
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