[Photo provided by Nongshim]
Nongshim Co., a South Korean food company, has seen the sales of its flagship Shin Ramyun top 1 trillion won ($754.7 million) in 2022, becoming the first instant noodle product to hit the milestone, on the back of growing demand from overseas markets.
According to multiple sources from the food industry on Sunday, sales of Shin Ramyun reached 1.06 trillion won last year - 440 billion won in Korea and 620 billion won overseas. It is the first time in 36 years since the launch of Shin Ramyun in 1986 that sales exceeded 1 trillion won.
Nongshim posted an operating profit of 63.8 billion won in the first quarter, up 85 percent from the same period a year ago. The on-year growth was significantly higher than what the market had projected at 30~40 percent.
Sales of its U.S. entity, in particular, jumped 40 percent to 164.7 billion won in the January-March period. The operating profit soared more than 600 percent to 18 billion won from 2.6 billion won during the same period.
The sharp growth was led by strong sales of Shin Ramyun.
Sales of the instant noodle, including Shin Ramyun Black, reached $108 million in North America last year, accounting for 22 percent of Nongshim’s entire sales in the region.
Sales of Shin Ramyun in Korea have remained stagnant for the past three years but sales in North America have been growing at an annual average of 20 percent.
Shin Ramyun is priced at 900~1,000 won per packet in Korea while it is priced at about $1.5 in the U.S.
“The price of ramyeon in overseas markets is twice the domestic price, which contributes to higher profitability,” said an unnamed official from the industry.
Shin Ramyun - which hit the shelves in 1986 - has retained the position as the top ramyeon brand in Korea since 1991. The instant noodle gained a huge popularity when it was first released as it offered a spicy flavor in the market that was dominated by mild flavor products until the 1980s.
By Choi Jae-won and Choi Jieun
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