Americans to get their first taste of multi-grain Hetbahn

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Americans to get their first taste of multi-grain Hetbahn

CJ CheilJedang's new Hetbahn products that will sell in U.S. markets starting August. [CJ CHEILJEDANG]

CJ CheilJedang's new Hetbahn products that will sell in U.S. markets starting August. [CJ CHEILJEDANG]

 
Following the overseas success of Bibigo dumplings, CJ CheilJedang is trying to get Americans hooked on Hetbahn, its wildly popular microwave rice.
 
The versions for the U.S. market are multi-grain: a mix of brown and jasmine rice, of red and wild rice, of brown rice and quinoa and another of brown, red and wild rice. The products will only be exported to the United States and are seasoned with salt and oil to appeal to American tastes.
 
The prices hadn't been set.  
 
The first batch destined for the United States left CJ CheilJedang’s Busan manufacturing plant on Thursday. They will be sold at 4,000 Walmart and Kroger branches starting in August.  
 
CJ CheilJedang has high hopes that its microwave rice will be a profit driver abroad. 
 
The company’s Bibigo dumplings have been a huge success in the U.S., with sales of $316 million in 2021 in the country, up 27 percent on year. Looking for the next export hit, the company settled on Hetbahn, and is considering five other products including kimchi, gim (dried seaweed) and Korean sauces.
 
The U.S. market for prepared rice products grew 14 percent on year to 640 billion won ($517 million) in 2021, and is expected to surpass 1 trillion won in 2025. CheilJedang says the market is dominated by cheap products, and demand for healthy and premium products like multi-grain Hetbahn will grow.  
 
“Hetbahn was created based on [CJ Group] Chairman Lee Jay-hyun’s goals to find future growth drivers about 10 to 20 years ago when the thought of buying ready-to-eat rice was a strange concept,” said a spokesperson for CJ CheilJedang. “With the new multigrain products, we believe Hetbahn will become a well-known Korean food that is loved by people globally.”
 

BY LEE TAE-HEE [lee.taehee2@joongang.co.kr]
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