It’s Shin Ramyun, but not as we know it
Non-fried noodles have been gaining popularity among younger consumers that lean toward healthier and lower calorie food options.
While cup noodles typically use noodles that are deep-fried, Nongshim has been looking for healthier alternatives. Last year they released a spaghetti version of a cup noodle that used wind-dried pasta instead of fried.
On Friday, Nongshim announced it would release the non-fried version of Shin Ramyun over the weekend, dubbed Shin Ramyun Non-frying. The new variety is the third version of Shin Ramyun to hit the market. Nongshim originally released Shin Ramyun in 1986 and followed up with Shin Ramyun Black in 2011.
“The third generation Shin Ramyun maintains the identity of the original noodle brand, but has been upgraded with a healthier non-fried noodle,” said a Nongshim press officer.
The non-fried variety is healthier than the original, containing 350 kilocalories, or 70 percent of an equivalent pack of the original Shin Ramyun.
Industry analysts believe non-fried noodles will boost the tepid ramyeon market.
As a focus on healthier food options has grown among younger consumers, the non-fried noodle market has steadily increased. Non-fried noodles were first introduced in 2008 with Nongshim’s Doongji cold noodles and Hooroorook Kalguksu. By 2010, the market was worth 50 billion won ($44 million) and by 2018 it had shot up to 117.8 billion won. Nongshim controls 40 percent of the market, followed by Pulmuone and Ottogi.
The size of the overall ramyeon market has been moving in the other direction, falling from 2.40 trillion won in 2016 to 1.99 trillion won in 2017. In 2018 it rebounded to 2.47 trillion won.
Nongshim isn’t the only noodle company that has found success with healthier options.
Ottogi’s Cup Noodle is also popular. It weighs only 120 grams (4.2 ounces) and contains just 130 kilocalories.
“The product is hot among the younger generation who pursue a healthy lifestyle,” said a source from Ottogi. “The transparency and chewiness of the noodles are one of the features.”
Nongshim expects the growing popularity of non-fried noodles to continue to increase.
“Recently, many people look for non-fried noodles, like cold noodles, kalguksu and rice noodles,” A press officer from Nongshim said. “Non-fried noodles are expected to expand the scope of instant noodles market that was stagnant for a long time.”
BY KIM YOUNG-JU [email@example.com]