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Samyang shares soar on upbeat sales of Buldak ramyeon in US

May 13, 2024 - 18:05 By Hwang Joo-young

Samyang Roundsquare CEO Kim Jung-soo (Samyang)

Samyang Roundsquare shares rallied Monday, driven by investor expectations of the growing popularity of its spicy ramyeon brand, the Buldak series, especially in the US market.

The shares soared to a record high of 353,000 won ($258) at one point in the morning before closing at 329,000 won. Over the past three months alone, the shares jumped more than 70 percent.

Samyang's upward trajectory began in August 2023 when it posted record exports of its Buldak products in the second quarter. Except for a slight dip in February 2024, the stock continued to rise, boosted by the March announcement of plans to construct a new ramyeon plant in the US.

In 2021, aiming to diversify its export destinations beyond its traditional focus on the Asian market, Samyang established its US subsidiary, Samyang America. The US subsidiary achieved sales of $48 million in 2022, which increased to $122 million in 2023.

"The magnitude of our focus on the US market is poised to rival that of China," a Samyang official said. "Presently, we assess that demand in the US market exceeds supply."

In terms of sales, China was the largest market last year, accounting for 30 percent of the total, followed by Southeast Asia with 25 percent and the US with 20 percent.

The official explained that the company broadened its footprint in the US market by introducing Buldak products to major retailers such as Costco, Walmart and Albertsons. Additionally, they introduced milder variations of their spicy noodle products tailored to local preferences.

As part of its marketing strategy in the US, Samyang also sponsored a concert by the Korean idol group BTS in Los Angeles in 2022, building on the global exposure garnered when BTS member Jimin frequently showcased himself enjoying Buldak products on social media.

In recent years, Samyang has been enjoying upbeat exports overseas. Its exports almost doubled from 488.5 billion won in 2021 to 809.3 billion won in 2023, with overseas sales now making up almost 70 percent of its total sales.

With the new plant in Miryang, South Gyeongsang Province, set to commence production in the first half of 2025, Samyang will operate a total of four ramyeon factories capable of producing 2.36 billion bags of the Buldak ramyeon annually.

Last year, Samyang also launched Samyang Foods Indonesia, its fourth overseas subsidiary, joining Japan, the US and China.

Currently, Buldak products are exported to over 40 countries. In 2022, Samyang became the first Korean food company to hit $400 million in exports.