The Korea Herald


Nongshim brings Chapagetti to the fore for global market

By Hwang Joo-young

Published : April 14, 2024 - 14:12

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The exhibition zone of Nongshim's pop-up store in eastern Seoul is adorned with captivating decorations illustrating Chapagetti. (Nongshim) The exhibition zone of Nongshim's pop-up store in eastern Seoul is adorned with captivating decorations illustrating Chapagetti. (Nongshim)

South Korea's leading ramyeon manufacturer Nongshim plans to prioritize the promotion of Chapagetti, its black bean-flavored ramyeon product, to diversify its overseas marketing appeal.

Following Shin Ramyun, its top-selling instant noodle product, the company will now focus on promoting its 40-year-old Chapagetti as the next major brand targeting the global market, a Nongshim official said during a press conference held in eastern Seoul on Friday.

"We have previously concentrated on an overseas marketing strategy primarily centered on Shin Ramyun, but our next move will shift to Chapagetti," said Shim Kyu-cheol, head of Nongshim’s marketing department.

Chapagetti gained global recognition after its appearance in the Oscar-winning film "Parasite" in 2019, where it was used in Chapaguri -- or "ram-don" in the film's English subtitles -- a blend of Chapaghetti and Neoguri, another of the company's spicy ramyeon products.

Following the film's release, Chapagetti exports more than doubled to $1.5 million as of February 2020 from $680,000 the previous year.

Despite being exported to over 70 countries currently, the export figure of Chapagetti still lags behind Shin Ramyun, which recorded approximately 700 billion won ($507 million) in global sales last year.

To strategically appeal to local preferences in overseas markets, the Nongshim official stated that it is currently reviewing taste adjustments for outbound Chapagetti products.

"We're still considering various options, but personally, I believe it could be more effective to adjust our sales strategy to align with each country's cultural characteristics," Shim said.

With its name derived from the combination of "spaghetti" and "jajangmyeon," noodles in black bean sauce, Chapagetti stands as one of the best-selling ramyeon products within Nongshim's lineup, trailing only behind Shin Ramyun.

Since its initial launch in 1984, over 9.1 billion units of Chapagetti had been sold as of 2023. It holds an 80 percent share of the black bean-flavored ramyeon products market.

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Chapagetti, Nongshim is hosting a special pop-up store dedicated to Chapagetti, which will run until May 11. Visitors can enjoy tasting cooked Chapagetti or try cooking it themselves. Additionally, the pop-up store will feature a variety of events and promotions.