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Nongshim Attributes 35 Years of Popularity of Neoguri to Differentiation Strategy
Neoguri Ramyun
Nongshim Attributes 35 Years of Popularity of Neoguri to Differentiation Strategy
  • By Lee Song-hoon
  • September 28, 2017, 06:45
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Nongshim’s Neoguri ramyun. (photo courtesy: Nongshim)
Nongshim’s Neoguri ramyun. (photo courtesy: Nongshim)

 

A logo of The Nongshim
A logo of The Nongshim

 

Nongshim Co. announced on September 27 that the nation’s most popular udon-style ramyun “Neoguri” marked the 35th anniversary of its launch this year. Neoguri was released in 1982 as the nation’s first udon-style ramyun and it is Nongshim’s longest produced brand which leads the ramyun market with its spicy seafood flavor.

When Neoguri was launched, it attracted huge popularity with differentiated spicy seafood flavor soup and thick noodles. The product holds an unchallenged position in the ramyun market until now. The accumulated sales of Neoguri reached 1.8 trillion won (US$1.57 billion) as of the first half of this year. Nongshim also said it has sold more than 5.2 billion packets of Neoguri.

The sales of Neoguri exceeded 2 billion won (US$1.75 million) in two months after the launch in 1982 and 15 billion won (US$13.11 million) in 1983. Currently, Neoguri has grown into a power brand in the ramyun industry with the annual sales of over 100 billion won (US$87.37 million), with the figure last year reaching 105 billion won (US$91.72 million).

Nongshim attributes the long popularity of Neoguri to the chewy thick noodles and the spicy seafood flavor soup, differentiating from other ramyun products.

Meanwhile, Neoguri was exported to the U.S. market for the first time in 1986. The product showed a presence of Korean ramyun in the U.S. market dominated by Japanese ramyun as soon as it was first exported. It attracted huge popularity from Korean American which tried Neoguri with its unique taste and homesickness. So, Japanese ramyun producers released various ramyun products written in Korean, such as seaweed ramyun and Szechuan ramyun, as well as carried out price discount events. However, they failed to surpass the popularity of Neoguri.

Neoguri has also become popular among local people in the U.S. American consumers, who cannot read Korean, read Neoguri in Korean on the package upside down and called it as “RTA” ramyun. It is said that there are still a lot of local consumers who call Neoguri as the RTA ramyun in the U.S. Currently, Neoguri is being exported to 70 countries around the world, along with Shin Ramyun.