Home food hacks picked up, manufactured and marketed
Home experiments with food and drink have been picked up by manufacturers who mainstream the amateur combinations.
Ramyeon maker Nongshim recently rolled out Kaguri, which adds curry to Neoguri ramyeon. The recipe first became popular among people who like to eat in PC cafes. With the recipe becoming so popular among customers, the company got on board, and more than 2.3 million packs were sold within a month of introduction.
The industry calls the strategy modisumer, a combination word for modify and consumer. As many people tend to spend more time at home, they like to create their own recipes by adding additional ingredient to existing foods, and share them online. When the recipe goes viral, companies catch on fast.
The first product made based on the modisumer strategy was Chapaguri — a popular blend of Chapaghetti and Neoguri, both Nongshim-made noodles.
Chapaguri was first introduced when freelance television presenter Kim Sung-joo cooked it during MBC's family variety show "Dad! Where Are We Going?" in 2012. The recipe gained attention and global popularity after it featured in the Oscar-winning Parasite (2019).
Last year, Nongshim made it official with Chapaguri as a real product.
Lee Ga-hyeon, a 24-year-old university student, recently cooked Toowoomba Cup Noodle, which is a very popular recipe online lately.
"Toowoomba Cup Noodle is one of the hottest recipes online, which people can make it by adding milk, cheese, ham and onions into Ottogi's Cup Noodle product," said Lee.
With the growing popularity, many people are calling the company make a new product based on the recipe.
"Since ramyeon is one of the foods that people can easily access, there are various recipes using ramyeon," said a source in a food industry.
Another popular food hacks involves eating Ottogi's Yeul Ramen with silken tofu. Popular Mukbang YouTubers like Sangyoon and Boki uploaded videos of them eating the ramyeon with silken tofu and gained millions of views from people around the world.
"Eating Yeul Ramen with silken tofu is the latest popular recipe among YouTubers. I anticipate the company would release a new product based on the recipe shortly," said a 25-year-old university student Sohn Jeong-eun.
GS Retail, the operator of convenience store chain GS25, recently teamed up with Seoul Jangsu, a makgeolli maker, to make Maksa. Maksa is a mixture of makgeolli with Sprite in a two-to-one ratio.
The recipe was already popular among consumers, especially young people who like to drink sweeter makgeolli, the convenience store chain said.
In 2019, GS25 introduced Honey Hotteok Sandwich, which comes with ham and eggs between honey hotteoks, a type of Korean pancake filled with honey and nuts. The recipe was popular online before the convenience store started offering the product.
"Since people are staying more time at home due to the pandemic, their recipes have become more diverse," a source from a food company said. "More food companies are adopting the Modisumer marketing strategy these days."
BY LEE HYUN-JUNG, SARAH CHEA [firstname.lastname@example.org]
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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