The Korea Herald

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Korean instant noodle exports hit new high in 2021

By Yim Hyun-su

Published : Jan. 30, 2022 - 15:48

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A shopper looks at instant noodles at a supermarket in Seoul. (Yonhap) A shopper looks at instant noodles at a supermarket in Seoul. (Yonhap)
Exports of South Korean instant noodles hit a record high of over $670 million, the highest figure to date.

Last year’s exports stood at $674.41 million, data from the Korea Customs Service and the food industry showed on Sunday.

Exports of instant noodles, also known as “ramyeon” in Korea, have risen for seven consecutive years.

When broken down by country, China was the biggest market for South Korean instant noodle makers, followed by the US, Japan and Taiwan.

Instant noodles enjoyed a 29.2 percent year-on-year increase in exports in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic began around the world. The bump in demand in recent years appears to have been buoyed by more people staying at home, as well as a growing interest in South Korean pop culture.

In 2020, the South Korean food and beverage company Nongshim raked in 2 trillion won ($1.65 billion) in instant ramen sales, boosted by the pandemic and the “jjapaguri” dish featured in the Oscar-winning film “Parasite."