Nongshim celebrates 30 years of Shin RamyunInstant noodles were first introduced to Korea in September 1963, when the Korean government was encouraging people to eat flour-based food because of a severely low rice harvest.
Nongshim started its instant noodle business in 1965, working hard to develop new products.
After the first release of Nongshim Ramyun in 1975, the company came out with three more products in the 1980s: the udon-style Neoguri in 1982, the noodle soup Ansungtangmyun in 1983 and the black soybean paste noodle Chapagetti in 1984.
These successes led Nongshim, which had been a runner-up in the industry, to become the No. 1 instant noodle brand in 1985.
In October 1986, Nongshim’s famed Shin Ramyun was released.
As soon as the product hit shelves, sales steeply rose, reaching 3 billion won just three months after its first release in 1986.
The following year, sales exceeded 18 billion won becoming the best-selling instant noodle product in the domestic market.
This year, the instant noodle brand, which is celebrating its 30th birthday, has achieved approximately 700 billion won ($630 million) in sales worldwide and become a global brand, garnering the nickname “the semiconductor of the food business” as one of Korea’s major exports and a symbol of the country abroad.
Shin Ramyun can be found globally in unexpected places. It is available not only in neighboring countries like China and Japan but also at the summit of Jungfrau in the Alps, more than 13,600 feet above sea level. There, cups of the instant noodle are sold in a shop at the top of Jungfrau.
Shin Ramyun can also be found in bazaars in the Middle East, on the Himalayan trek course in Nepal and even near the South Pole.
A shop called “Shin Ramyun House” can be found at Punta Arenas, the southernmost city in Chile. The shop was given the name by Korean tourists traveling in the Antarctic region and currently has a sign in Korean that says “Shin Ramyun.”
BY YANG SE-YOUNG [firstname.lastname@example.org]
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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