S. Korean Food Companies Aim for U.S. Market | Be Korea-savvy

S. Korean Food Companies Aim for U.S. Market

Nongshim Co.'s first U.S. factory in California. (image: Nongshim)

Nongshim Co.’s first U.S. factory in California. (image: Nongshim)

SEOUL, Sept. 5 (Korea Bizwire)South Korean food companies struggling with tepid domestic demand are turning their eyes to the U.S. for a breakthrough.

As more Americans are taking an interest in Korean food, an increasing number of South Korean companies are beginning to see potential in the American market, many of which have already decided to build manufacturing plants in the country or acquire a local company to distribute their products.

Nongshim Co., a major South Korean food company, announced on Tuesday that it will invest US$200 million to build its second ramen manufacturing plant in Los Angeles.

“There is significant potential for growth in the region, and it is crucial for us to secure a production center here,” said Nongshim.

CJ CheilJedang Corp., with 22 plants in operation in the United States, is acquiring local food companies to make inroads in the U.S. market.

After CJ acquired local frozen food manufacturer Schwan’s Co. in November of last year, global sales exceeded domestic sales for the very first time.

The company plans to work with Schwan’s to maximize synergy and reach 4.6 trillion won (US$3.8 billion) in sales in the U.S. market by 2022.

Daesang Corp. is planning to enter the U.S. market with its signature Kimchi brand, Jongga.

The company set up a new branch office in the United States last month and plans to build a kimchi production plant in the United States for the first time among South Korean food producers.

Daesang’s Kimchi exports to the United States reached US$9 million last year, up by 24 percent from the previous year.

H. M. Kang (hmkang@koreabizwire.com)

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