Popularity of S. Korean fire noodles never fades with accumulated sales of over 4 billion packs

Kim Joo-heon Reporter() | Posted : August 1, 2022, 17:30 | Updated : August 1, 2022, 17:52

[Courtesy of Samyang Foods]

SEOUL -- The popularity of "Hot Chicken Flavor Ramen," one of South Korea's extremely spicy instant noodle brands, also known as fire noodle, is not fading almost ten years after overseas shipments began in 2012. Rather, it is steadily expanding global sales year after year.  

More than four billion packs of "Hot Chicken Flavor Ramen" created by Samyang Foods, a food company in South Korea, have been sold as of 2022 since the instant noodle known for its unforgiving infernal spiciness started gaining popularity thanks to people sharing videos of their agonizing epicurean adventures on various social media platforms.

More than 100,000 users in Asian countries including China have uploaded challenge videos with #BornTobeSpicy. "The fire noodle's largest importer was China, followed by Southeast Asian countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia," Samyang Foods spokesperson Lee Hye-ryung told Aju Business Daily on August 1.
"The value of annual fire noodle sales has increased from some 66 billion won ($50.5 million) in 2016 to 340 billion won in 2021," Lee said, adding that the company has consistently released various series of Hot Chicken Flavor Ramen to diversify its fan base. The instant noodle has been exported to more than 90 countries.

More than 10 different fire noodles are now available, including cream-based sauce noodles and cheese-based noodles. "We've sold Halal-certified fire noodles in Southeast Asia," Lee said. Halal-certified products are considered to be safe and clean under Islamic standards. 

Samyang released its habanero-based fire noodle targeting the U.S market in May 2022. To meet growing demands abroad, Samyang started the construction of a domestic smart factory with an annual capacity of 600 million instant noodles in May 2022. South Korea's instant noodles called ramyeon in Korean and ramen in Japanese have gained global popularity with the growing influence of Hallyu (the Korean cultural wave). 
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