Nongshim’s instant noodle exports to France signal full-scale entry into Europe

Nongshim's ad for Shin Ramyun is displayed at a bus stop in the Netherlands in May. Courtesy of Nongshim

Korea’s instant noodle exports have shifted into a higher gear as Nongshim, the country’s largest noodle maker, has sealed a supply deal with major retailers in France, according to the company and industry officials, Tuesday.The latest deal has boosted the global prominence of Korea’s rapidly growing instant noodle industry as other instant noodle makers here like Samyang Foods, Ottogi and Paldo have been expanding their overseas presence. In 2023, they made record-high exports of over 1 trillion won ($730 million), according to the Korea International Trade Association.Nongshim has become an official supplier for E.Leclerc and Carrefour, the top two major supermarket chains in France which together occupy over 40 percent of the retail market there. Under the deal, the company, in addition to its signature product Shin Ramyun, will ship out a vegan product and other instant noodles as well as snack products starting next month.Nongshim has clinched the deal as France is hosting Paris Olympics in July, which will draw millions of athletes, supporters and tourists from around the world. The city also hosts the Korea Expo 2024 later this month and K-Street Festival in June.The company has targeted those events for promoting its products, with plans to operate its booths during both. During the Olympic Games, the company, under partnerships with major local retail malls there, will open pop-up stores within the venues.

Nongshim’s latest breakthrough in France, according to the company, signals the start of its market expansion throughout Europe. It said it will target Spain, Italy and other countries in southwestern Europe as well as northern European nations like Sweden and Denmark.”Our partnership with Carrefour has allowed us to launch our products in countries where the French company is doing business including Romania, Belgium and Poland,” a company official said. “We’ll establish a subsidiary in Europe early next year to better secure the market share.”To support its production capacity for Europe as well as its active markets in Asia, Nongshim said it will add new production lines for instant cup noodle products to its second U.S. factory in California by the end of October. The second factory was built after the first one could no longer meet local demand that exploded during the COVID-19 pandemic.The second factory, built in 2022, has been the company’s key manufacturing hub for exports, raising Nongshim USA’s sales by 24 percent to $490 million in 2022 and further upping it by 10 percent to $538 million in 2023.With the new production line activated, Nongshim USA’s production capacity is expected to jump by 20 percent to 1.01 billion products per year.”We’ll make efforts to target all of Europe within this year,” the company official said. “And 스포츠토토존 we’ll crank up our manufacturing capabilities to supply our products anywhere in the world.”

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