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[단독] CJ제일제당, ‘붕어빵 만두’ 개발한다

CJ제일제당 내부 임직원 대상 시식 행사에서 “엇갈린 평가”…비비고 브랜드 아닌 고메 베이커리 제품으로 상품화 준비 중

By Kan Hyeong-woo

Published : March 15, 2023 - 18:02

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CJ제일제당이 미국 등 해외에서 폭발적인 인기를 얻고 있는 만두 제품군에 새로운 제품으로 ‘붕어빵 만두’를 개발 중인 것으로 파악됐다.

15일 업계 관계자에 따르면 CJ가 준비하고 있는 붕어빵 만두는 겉면이 바삭한 기존 붕어빵에 팥소 대신 비비고의 만두소를 넣은 것으로 새로운 맛과 식감에 최근 임직원들을 대상으로 한 사내시식회에서는 반응이 엇갈렸다고 한다.

이 관계자는 “붕어빵 만두의 경우 비비고 라인업이 아닌 고메 베이커리 제품으로 출시하기 위한 상품화 과정이 진행중”이라며 “추후 해외에서는 비비고의 만두 라인업으로 출시될 가능성이 있다”고 설명했다. 다만 아직까지 구체적인 출시 일정은 정해지지 않았다고 한다.

CJ제일제당은 지난해 국내 식품기업으로는 처음으로 해외 매출이 연간 5조원을 돌파했다. 식품 사업 중 해외 매출 비중이 역대 최고인 47%까지 올랐다. 전체 식품 분야 해외 매출 중 약 80%가 미국에서 발생했는데 특히 비비고 만두의 인기가 높다. 미국 식료품점 만두시장에서 비비고 만두의 점유율은 40%에 이른다.

붕어빵 만두 개발과 관련해 CJ제일제당 측은 “임직원을 대상으로 붕어빵에 왕교자를 넣어서 일회성 이벤트를 연 것은 맞다”면서도 제품화 계획을 부인했다.

[Exclusive] CJ crafting fish-shaped Korean-style dumpling

Korean food giant denies developing 'bungeoppang mandu' product

CJ CheilJedang is developing a new Korean-style dumpling, or "mandu," in the shape of "bungeoppang" -- a popular fish-shaped waffle generally filled with red bean paste or cream -- as the food giant looks to expand its future portfolio, according to a source familiar with the matter, Wednesday.

The source told The Korea Herald that the food giant has recently completed an internal review of the bungeoppang mandu product in a pop-up store format at the company’s headquarters in central Seoul, adding that the newly developed mandu received mixed feedback from employees who had a chance to sample the product.

According to the source, the new product combines bungeoppang’s waffle pastry with Bibigo's traditional mandu filling made of ground pork, tofu, "japchae" or sweet potato noodles and a variety of vegetables.

Although the new product is a type of mandu, the source said it is being prepared to be released under the bakery category of the food giant’s Gourmet brand instead of its global food brand, Bibigo.

“(The bungeoppang mandu) is expected to be launched in Korea first. It could be added to Bibigo’s mandu lineup for overseas markets later,” the source said, noting that no specific timeline for the new product’s release has been decided.

Bibigo has been aggressively expanding its market presence across the globe with mandu leading the way along with other food items dubbed as “global strategic products,” such as kimchi, Korean sauces, ready-cooked rice and Korean-style fried chicken.

CJ CheilJedang logged record-high numbers last year with a revenue of 18.8 trillion won ($14.4 billion) and an operating profit of 1.27 trillion won on the back of strong output from overseas food sales. The company’s global food revenue surpassed 5 trillion won for the first time as it accounted for 47 percent of the total food sales, the highest proportion in the history of the firm.

Bibigo’s mandu products played a crucial role as the products' US sales accounted for 66 percent of global food sales last year by maintaining a 40 percent market share during the period, leading all dumpling products sold through grocery channels.

Already holding food-producing footholds in major regions across the world including Germany, the US and Vietnam, CJ CheilJedang earlier this year laid out its goal of expanding the Asian-Pacific, European and North American markets this year. The food giant said it will begin the expansion by entering five new countries -- Canada, Australia, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia -- this year.

A CJ CheilJedang spokesperson said that although sampling of the bungeoppang mandu product had taken place, the company is not yet in the process of developing it into an actual product.