What first comes to your mind when you hear the word “first?” Probably, “first love” or “first job” - the memories that, like a magic spell, move your heart and do not go away no matter how much time has passed. One company in Korea is always associated with the word “first.” That is SAMYANGFOODS CO., LTD., a representative K-food enterprise. Founded in 1963, it has been producing safe and good quality ramen under the slogan “honesty and trust.” It is the company that gave birth to Korean ramen.
As the pioneer of Korean instant noodles, SAMYANGFOODS was the first Korean company in the food industry to receive FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approval. It has also obtained ISO22000, HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point), and KOLAS (Korea Laboratory Accreditation Scheme) certifications. These successes testify to the safeness of SAMYANGFOOD products and the state-of-the-art production system. An employee of the company admits, with pride, “Buyers are always surprised and blown away when they get to know our high-tech system.”
SAMYANGFOODS made its first exports to Vietnam in 1969. Now, they are selling ramen to over 50 countries, including Japan, the US, and countries in Europe and the Middle East. It was announced that exports of SAMYANGFOODS have been growing at a rate of 10 percent per year and last year the company set a record high of USD$20 million. Instead of simply exporting Korean ramen, the company has striven to make ramen perfectly customized to suit the tastes of people in each country. This is the greatest secret of their success.
Japan Laid Down the Scepter,
and Korea Ascended to the Throne
Japan is a suzerain of ramen, but SAMYANGFOODS is vastly popular even there. In 1963, after six years of importing the facilities and learning the technology of making ramen from Japan, SAMYANGFOODS succeeded in re-exporting ramen to Japan. The buyer was Daiei, Inc., a Japanese company known for being fastidious in inspections of food products. The fact that the company looked at SAMYANGFOODS as a trustworthy partner, and that SAMYANGFOODS products easily passed Daiei inspections, is not surprising news. Surprising was the fact that the first shipment of SAMYANG ramen sold out in just three days and received a great number of favorable comments. The unexpected success of SAMYANGFOODS stirred the Japanese ramen market and newspapers such as Sankei Shimbun, Syokuryo Times, The Japan Food News, and Mainichi Shimbun spotlighted the story. Mainichi Shimbun reported that “SAMYANGFOODS can compete with our ramen companies in all aspects such as taste, nutrition and price.”
A similar situation unfolded recently. Nagasaki Champpong Ramen, newly released in July 2011, was not marketed in Japan, but became known to consumers through word of mouth. The Japanese media reported about Nagasaki Champpong Ramen before the product was launched in Japan. In this product, benchmarked after the champpong of the Nagasaki region in Japan, the soup harmoniously combines the thick broth made with pig bones and the refreshing flavor of seafood (squid and shrimp). Its distinctive taste has captivated the Japanese. This helped SAMYANGFOODS to further expand its exports. Now, not only Nagasaki Champpong Ramen, but also the soy sauce, curry, and sea food instant cup ramen products of the company are selling well - altogether more than 12 million units every year. Also released in 2011, over 6.5 million units of salt, miso, and soy sauce-sesame instant cup ramen were sold in their first year on the market. It seems like in SAMYANGFOODS ramen, the popularity is a never-ending story!
Simply the Very Best in Vietnam
SAMYANGFOODS is now present worldwide, but signing their very first export deal, in Vietnam, was not easy. The Vietnamese government put a bid on an import contract for ramen. At that time Korea did not have such economic strength as it does now and SAMYANGFOODS’ competitors had better qualifications both in terms of capital and history. Japanese companies were pursuing the deal especially vigorously, supported by ample funds and an overseas information network. Squeezed in between the big players, SAMYANGFOODS nevertheless won the bid. The company received recognition for the delicious taste and safety of its product, and had a good track record of USD$1.6 million in exports at that time. The fame of SAMYANGFOODS spread from Vietnam to all over Southeast Asia. Now consumers can buy four kinds of Samyang ramen (kimchi, sea food, spicy-mushroom, and u-dong flavors) anywhere in the region.
European Salad-Style Ramen
Asian cuisine has developed a variety of broth and gravy dishes, which makes it very different from European traditions. But the difference is not a problem to SAMYANGFOODS - they export 20 million units of Samyang ramen to Europe every year. The company was able to win the hearts of Europeans with its salad-style ramen. Seven types of simple tasting ramen (chicken, shrimp, beef, pork, vegetable, mushroom, and spicy tastes) are offered to the market. There are also two types of instant cup ramen (chicken and beef tastes). Thanks to the FTA, European buyers can import without duty SAMYANGFOODS products that have completed registration of the country of origin.
Chicken Broth Is the Key to the Hearts of People in the Middle East
You can buy four types of Samyang ramen (chicken, seafood, vegetable, and spicy flavored instant cup ramen) in the Middle East. Every year, SAMYANGFOODS is exporting more than 50 million units of ramen (worth USD$1 million) to this region. Pork and beef are not added in consideration of the local eating customs.
Inquiries SAMYANGFOODS CO., LTD. Tel +82-2-940-3000 Fax +82-2-942-4350 Website www.samyangfood.co.kr
Park Sung Eun firstname.lastname@example.org
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