CJ Cheiljedang targets global market with ready-to-cook Korean street food packages

By Park Sae-jin Posted : October 23, 2023, 15:29 Updated : October 23, 2023, 15:29
Gettyimages Bank
[Gettyimages Bank]
SEOUL -- CJ Cheiljedang, South Korea's major food maker, has released new ready-to-cook products of Korean street foods -- Tteokbokki, rice cakes smothered in sweet chili sauce, "Ojingeo Twigim," deep-fried calamari, and "Gimmari," deep fried seaweed-rolled noodles -- targeting the global foodies who wish to try menus frequently introduced through K-dramas and K-films.
Ready-to-cook packages, or home meal replacement (HMR) products, are easy-to-cook packs that contain ingredients and sauces. Customers can simply unpack the contents, put them in a pan or a pot, heat the ingredients, and serve. Because of their simplicity, all kinds of business operators including major food companies and small and medium-sized companies competitively released the so-called "meal kits" to attract customers.
HMR products became popular in South Korea among young people who live alone or working mothers who do not have the time to shop for groceries and cook. South Korea's meal kit market which stood at two billion won ($1.4 million) in 2017 grew explosively during the COVID-19 pandemic to reach about 258.7 billion won in 2022, according to global market research firm Euromonitor. The size of South Korea's HMR market is expected to reach 725 billion won by 2025.
Tteokbokki, Ojingeo Twigim, and Gimmari are iconic snacks that are commonly sold at street stalls and small shops located near schools. Students would rush to snack stores after they finish school to indulge in the Korean snacks often depicted in Hallyu (Korean cultural wave)-related dramas and films. Some snacks received attention when K-pop artists casually ate spicy rice cakes or deep-fried noodle rolls during internet live broadcasts.
CJ Cheiljednag said on October 22 that the company released the three Korean street snack products. The company had selected six street food types -- Tteokbokki, Gimmari, Ojingeo Twigim, "Boongeobbang," a fish-shaped pancake sandwich filled with sweet red bean paste, and "Hotteok," a hot chewy pancake filled with sugar and cinnamon syrup -- in as strategic products for the global market in May 2023.
Bibigo, the food maker's premium ready-to-cook product brand, currently exports Tteokbokki products to 27 overseas countries including the United States, Australia, Viet Nam, and Singapore. Three types of Bibigo's "Gimbap," Korean-style sushi roll, menus were first introduced in Japan in March 2023 and are distributed through some two thousand distribution channels operated by major retailers including AEON, Japan's top mega-store operator.  
"We hope to have young generations to easily enjoy Bibigo's K-street food products. We will do our best to distribute South Korea's culinary culture to foreign markets in the U.S. and Europe, as well as markets in Asian countries," a CJ Cheiljedang official said in a statement. 
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