Koreans love to eat noodles,… but of all the varieties that are available,… ramyeon is by far the most popular.
Extremely simple to make and quick to eat,… Korea eats more of the stuff than any other country in the world.
For this week′s Industry Insight, our Shin Se-min delves into the country′s instant noodle market.
“The average Korean slurps up on some 74 packets of ramyeon, or instant noodle every year. Breaking it down, that′s one packet every five days. Now the Korean ramyeon companies are trying to export their product to every corner of the world,… so YOU can have your taste of Korean ramyeon.”
Three minutes is all you need to get it ready.
Widely known for being packed with calories and carbohydrates,… but still loved by the masses,… Korean ramyeon is embedded in the culture.
The concept of ramyeon was first introduced by Samyang Foods in the early 1960s as a means to feed those suffering from food shortages.
The packet with high nutrition was a quick solution to many Korean′s mal-nourished stomachs.
In the 60 years since,… ramyeon has become a comfort food for many Koreans.
“The flavor of ramyeon can be played around with. It′s spicy, and you can add in vegetables or seafood… for a different taste. It′s one reason many consumers like Korean ramyeon. ”
Domestically, the ramyeon market grew to 1-point-8 billion U.S. dollars,… up 5-hundred million in just past five years.
Korean ramyeon makers didn′t stop there,… they are expanding overseas.
The noodles can now be found in some 120 countries worldwide.
“Ramyeon itself takes up 18 percent of all agricultural and food exports. A lot of factors come into play. The Korean Wave is one. It caught on in the Chinese market, which is now the largest overseas consumer of Korean ramyeon.”
The road to success hasn′t been without obstacles.
Various regulations in certain countries once kept ramyeon makers out of foreign countries.
Take Turkey for example.
Samyang was barred from introducing its ramyeon product in the country due to Turkish regulations on the labeling of GMO food products.
And in the U.S., strict food import regulations that contain beef hindered the export of Korean-made ramyeon.
But that problem was solved by setting up a local factory.
“Reaching out to different markets is always a challenge. But we continue to explore customers with different backgrounds. For instance, we are working on entering the African and European markets now.”
Samyang Food Corporation wants ramyeon to become a household name throughout the world.
And until the company is able to bypass the obstacles to entering the untapped markets,… their experimentations with the flavors of Korean ramyeon that will suit foreign palates is an ongoing project.
Shin Se-min, Arirang News.