South Korean food company CJ CheilJedang said it will introduce its Hetban Cupban — instant rice accompanied by Korean soups — at convenience stores in Japan and Hong Kong, targeting the global convenience food market.
Stating from the end of this month to early May, CJ will introduce Cupban, which is spun off from its flagship instant rice line Hetban, at some 600 7-Eleven convenience stores in Hong Kong and up to 200 Natural Lawson convenience stores and supermarkets in Japan. The company will release Cupban with Seaweed Soup in Hong Kong, while releasing three different types of Cupban in Japan, including Cupban with Dried Pollack Soup. It also plans to expand its product lineups in the future. With the entry into Hong Kong and Japan, CJ now exports Cupban to 31 countries.
With the Hong Kong and Japanese markets as a bridgehead, CJ CheilJedang plans to promote exports of Cupban to other Asian markets, namely China, within this year. It also aims to record more than 2 billion won (US$1.74 million) in overseas sales in 2016, which is considered the first year of full-scale overseas expansion, through a localization marketing strategy. With a goal of becoming a new leader in both the global instant food market and food Hallyu in the future, the company is planning to have free sampling events, which allow local consumers to try products, and carry out Hallyu-connected marketing campaigns.
“Hetban Cupban is showing the potential that Korean instant food can be the next big thing in the global market,” said Lee Joo-eun, director of CJ CheilJedang’s Hetban brand, adding, “If Korean cup ramen was the ‘it’ overseas Korean instant food product of the past, the future is all about Cupban.”