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More Shin Ramyun sold overseas than in Korea

Nongshim’s Shin Ramyun products (Nongshim)
Nongshim’s Shin Ramyun products (Nongshim)
International sales of Nongshim’s spicy Shin Ramyun surpassed local sales for the first time in the third quarter of this year, the South Korean foodmaker said Monday.

Sales generated outside of South Korea accounted for 53.6 percent of the product‘s 690 billion won ($600 million) total sales in the first three quarters of the year. This is the first time that more Shin Ramyun was sold overseas since the product’s launch 35 years ago.

Should the trend continue, Nongshim expects the product’s international sales to top 500 billion won by the end of the year. Total sales could reach 930 billion won, the company said.

Since the first overseas shipment to Los Angeles in 1971, the flagship product of Nongshim has expanded its global reach gradually.

The company has built three factories in China and one in LA to support overseas sales from the late 90s to early 2000s. It also opened two sales subsidiaries -- one in Japan and another in Australia -- to further push international sales of the product.

Shin Ramyun was one of the first Korean food products sold in the American discount retail chain Walmart. It is currently sold in more than 100 countries across the globe, the company said.

Not just Shin Ramyun, but Korean ramen products as a whole are enjoying popularity overseas, helped by the COVID-19 pandemic and the success of Oscar-winning film “Parasite” which featured a combination of two ramen brands, called “jjapaguri.”

Nongshim raked in 2 trillion won in instant ramen sales last year.

“We believe right now is the opportune time to exponentially grow our business. We will continue to grow sales overseas until half of the entire sales are generated outside of South Korea,” an official from Nongshim said.

Nongshim plans to target Mexico and other South American markets when its second factory in the United States starts operation later this year.

By Kang Jae-eun (kang.jaeeun@heraldcorp.com)
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