According to data released by the World Instant Noodles Association, a South Korean person consumes an average of 73 packs of instant noodles per year. South Korean Ramyeon products started to gain attention in 2015 thanks to K-pop and K-dramas. Various companies sought to grab instant noodle fans worldwide. Shinsegae, South Korea's retail giant, released Halal instant noodle packs called "Daebak," targeting Muslim consumers in Southeast Asian countries.
The popularity of Ramyeon skyrocketed in 2020 when many people were grounded due to a coronavirus pandemic. Exports of Ramyeon hit $600 million in 2020, up 21.6 percent from 2019's $470 million. The customs office analyzed that Ramyeon received a spotlight during the pandemic because it can play the both role of an emergency food ration and a warm meal.
Ramyeon got even more famous after a special recipe made using two different kinds of Ramyeon was introduced in the 2019 film "Parasite," directed by Bong Joon-ho, which received four Academy awards including the Academy Award for Best International Feature Film and Academy Award for Best Picture.
The Korea Customs Service said in a statement on January 23 that a total of some $765,430,000 worth of Ramyeon packs were exported in 2022, recording the largest amount ever. China was the largest importer of Ramyeon ($188.9 million), followed by the United States ($76.1 million) and Japan ($60.6 million).
The customs said that the actual amount of Ramyeon consumed by foreigners is larger than the number of exported instant noodles because many Ramyeon companies operate local instant noodle factories in some countries like the U.S. and Russia.
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