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Korean instant noodle maker builds second California factory

By Park Eel-kyung & Kim Tae-gyu, UPI News Korea
Korean instant noodle maker builds second California factory
The second U.S. factory of South Korean food company Nongshim aims to help expand its market share in the country. Photo courtesy of Nongshim

SEOUL, May 3 (UPI) -- South Korea's largest instant noodle maker, Nongshim, announced the company has completed construction of its second U.S. factory, located in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.

The Seoul-based food giant said Monday the new production line would produce 350 million packs of instant noodles, increasing its annual production capacity in the United States to 850 million.

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Nongshim's first U.S. factory is located in Los Angeles, where the firm churns out 500 million packs of instant noodle products a year, including its flagship brand Shin Ramyun.

"Nongshim started exporting products to the U.S. in 1997 and saw fast growth after building its first plant in 2005," Nongshim Chairman Shin Dong-won said in a speech at the opening ceremony of the second factory on Friday.

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"With the new facilities, we strive to beat Japanese manufacturers and hope to become the leader not only in the U.S. market, but also in the global scene," he said.

According to business tracker Euromonitor, Japan's Toyo Suisan occupied 49% of the U.S. instant noodle market in 2020, followed by Nongshim, which occupied 23.3%.

Nongshim, which logged $395 million in U.S. sales last year, said it plans to more than double its revenue to $800 million by 2025.

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In the past, Nongshim products were mostly consumed by Koreans or Asians. The Oscar-winning South Korean film Parasite brought the products into the wider spotlight.

In the film, an instant noodle dish called Jjapaguri, which was translated as "ram-don" in the English subtitles, attracted much attention.

Jjapaguri is a mixture of black bean instant noodles and soup-based Neoguri instant noodles. Both are made by Nongshim.

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Nongshim's share price dipped 1.96 percent Tuesday on the South Korean stock exchange.

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