SEOUL, Apr. 23 (Korea Bizwire) — Sales of ramyun instant noodles decreased for the first time in three years in 2017 with the overall market size falling after posting steady gains, market data showed Sunday.
Industry sources, citing figures released by Nielsen Korea, said total sales of the country’s leading ramyun manufacturers — Nongshim Co., Ottogi Ltd., Samyang Corp. and Paldo Co. — stood at 1.98 trillion won (US$1.85 billion), down 2.6 percent from the previous year.
The domestic market was tallied at 1.84 trillion won in 2014 and expanded to 2.04 trillion won in 2016 on solid demand for the easy-to-prepare meals.
Growth at the time was attributed to the release of new products, like Zha Wang and Jin Jjambbong, that were well received by local consumers.
The latest data showed that the four companies’ sales all fell last year with market leader Nongshim’s sales standing at 1.12 trillion won. The company’s market share stood at 56.2 percent, down from over 60 percent in 2015.
Related to the drop, corporate observers said lack of clear hit products and release of wider range of easy-to-eat meals are all affecting sales, even though exports of instant noodles are continuing to do well.
To deal with drop in demand, ramyun companies are in the process of releasing new products that do not come with broth and bibim noodle variants that can be eaten by mixing the noodles with various sauces.