The Korea Herald


CJ’s overseas food sales outpace domestic sales for 1st time in Q4

By Hwang Joo-young

Published : Feb. 14, 2024 - 15:00

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CJ CheilJedang's Bibigo dumpling products (CJ CheilJedang) CJ CheilJedang's Bibigo dumpling products (CJ CheilJedang)

South Korean food giant CJ CheilJedang's overseas food business outperformed its domestic sales for the first time in the fourth quarter of 2023, driven by the strong performance of its flagship products in the US, Australia and Europe.

On Tuesday, CJ CheilJedang reported its consolidated earnings for 2023 with sales of 29.2 trillion won ($21.9 billion) and an operating profit of 1.29 trillion won.

Its food business, in particular, posed 11.3 trillion won in sales and 654.6 billion won in operating profits, up 1.4 percent and 4.9 percent from the previous year, respectively.

Overseas food sales made 1.38 trillion won in the fourth quarter compared to 7 billion won at home.

CJ CheilJedang attributed the turn to the success of its flagship products -- including dumplings, chicken, K-sauce, kimchi and seaweed -- in the US, Europe and Australia, despite a slight decline in sales in China and Japan.

In the US, Bibigo dumplings and Schwan's Red Baron -- a frozen pizza brand acquired by CJ CheilJedang in 2019 -- accounted for the largest share of sales. The company also witnessed a 19 percent increase in sales of frozen chicken products and a 15 percent increase in sales of processed rice products compared to the previous year.

CJ CheilJedang experienced sales exceeding 100 billion won in Europe and Australia, the new markets it expanded into recently. The company ventured into France and Sweden last year, adding to the UK and Germany. In Australia, its Bibigo products demonstrated a strong performance, particularly through Woolworths, the country's largest retail chain, the company added.

CJ CheilJedang said it plans to bolster its position in the North American market by leveraging the popularity of Korean street foods while accelerating expansion into the halal market in France, Northern Europe, and Southeast Asia.

"We will continue to expand into new global territories by establishing a presence in major countries and accelerating our entry into untapped markets while achieving quality growth through efficient management," said a CJ CheilJedang official.