Exports of S. Korean instant noodles Ramyeon surpass $520 mln in 2023

By Kim Joo-heon Posted : September 1, 2023, 11:02 Updated : November 20, 2023, 14:55
Gettyimages Bank
[Gettyimages Bank]
SEOUL -- Exports of South Korean instant noodles known as Ramyeon soared 17.7 percent year-on-year to a record high of $522 million during the first seven months of 2023, state data showed. The instant noodles, featured in many South Korean movies including the Oscar-winning film "Parasite" and live streaming content, have created a global phenomenon, with consumers uploading themselves eating hot noodles onto YouTube.
According to data provided by the Korea Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corporation on September 1, the exports of Ramyeon packs totaled $522,028,897 during the first seven months of this year. The largest importer was China with $106.7 million, followed by the United States ($69.7 million) and Japan ($34.5 million).  
South Korea's major food company Nongshim experienced a significant surge in Ramyeon sales in 2020, thanks to the popularity of "Ram-don," a mixture of two different instant noodles originally known as "Jjapaguri." The instant noodle was used to portray the rich-poor gap in Parasite.
BTS member Jimin has garnered immense attention for showing himself eating "Hot Chicken Flavor Ramen," an extremely spicy Ramyeon known as fire noodles, through live streaming content. Fire noodles, created by domestic food company Samyang Foods, are especially popular in Southeast Asia. Samyang captivated Southeast Asian consumers with its halal-certified fire noodles that are considered to be safe and clean under Islamic standards.

To meet growing global demands for South Korean instant noodles, Samyang has built a smart factory with an annual capacity of 600 million instant noodles. Using solar cells, the automated factory can generate about 436 megawatt-hours per year. The renewable electricity power plant can power some 436,000 households. Nongshim is operating two plants in the U.S. with an annual capacity of 850 million Ramyeon packs. 
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