Baduk Drives Success of Nongshim Noodles in China

  • By Chae Sung-jin

    October 17, 2018 13:22

    Instant noodle giant Nongshim expects sales of US$280 million in China this year, its 20th in the world's biggest market, the company said Tuesday.

    The amount is 40 times the company's $7 million earnings when it debuted there in 1999.

    Cumulative sales through this year's first half exceeded $2 billion, the company said. "While retaining the original flavor of spicy Korean instant noodles, our thorough localization marketing has proven effective."

    Nongshim wanted to sell its flagship Shin Ramyeon unchanged in China rather than adapting it to local tastes, but had to find other ways to appeal to Chinese consumers and decided to capitalize on the popularity of the game of baduk or Go.

    Baduk players from Korea, China and Japan pose at the Nongshim Cup in Beijing on Monday. /Courtesy of Nongshim

    In cooperation with the Korea Baduk Association, Nongshim founded a world baduk championship known as the Nongshim Cup as soon as it entered the country in 1999.

    Nongshim chairman Shin Chun-ho is a baduk enthusiast and wanted to link local baduk fever to the brand.

    Cho In-hyun at Nongshim's China operation said, "When China finally won the Nongshim Cup in 2008, around 700 media outlets covered the event throughout the country. That was a turning point."

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