Ottogi’s beer snack, “Ppushu Ppushu,” which means “Break into Bit Size Pieces,” is gaining popularity among Koreans, particularly young salaried workers, along with “Chimaek.” Chi is short for chicken and maek for the Korean word for beer. Chimaek became known throughout Asia, thanks to the Korean drama, “My Love from a Star.”
At small specialized beer houses, “Gammaek” (potato and beer ) is in growing demand as a low-priced snack for beer, along with “Pimaek” (pizza and beer). Pimaek is particularly popular among young women.
Pimaek houses can be found near Hongik University, Itaewon and other business districts frequented by young people.
Lately, “Ppumaek” (Ppushu Ppushu and Beer) has become the talk of town. Ottogi’s beer snack has been attracting lots of attention from young people after the food giant has conducted road promotions in places like Hongik University in western Seoul and Konkuk University in eastern Seoul.
When Ppushu Ppushu debuted in 1999, it became immensely popular as ramyeon-like snack. It was only a ramyeon snack available in the market at that time. It has four different flavors, Bulgogi (Korean barbecue), barbecue, seasoned chicken and tteokbokki. Ddeokbokki is a snack food made from soft rice cake, fish cake and sweet red chili sauce.
Ppushu Ppushu looks like ramyeon, but not real ramyeon. It can be eaten like candy. When the foodstuff was released, it targeted younger people. Now, it targets middle-aged persons as well.
The popularity of Ppushu Ppushu clearly reflects Ottogi’s strategy designed to create something new and cater to the changing tastes of consumers, company officials say. “As increasing numbers of beer drinkers prefer to take low-priced menus, it is only natural that Ppushu Ppushu is becoming a best-selling item,” an Ottogi spokesman said.
Ottogi Co, Ltd. is the first to commercialize curry in Korea and became one of the most successful food manufacturers in Korea. The firm's first product was ready-to-eat curry and it also was the first commercialized curry product in Korea. Ottogi first produced its signature 3-minute meals in 1981.
Since its foundation in 1969, Ottogi has strove to become the leader of the food industry. In order to attain this goal, the company has worked strenuously to provide the best-tasting and most nutritious foods available.
Ottogi grew in tandem with the Korean economy as tastes became more sophisticated and diversified, and also as more people came to demand less time-consuming processed foods that are also healthy. Soup, dairy products, canned fish, instant noodles, sesame oil and frozen food made by Ottogi consequently hit the store shelves.
Today, Ottogi produces over 500 foodstuffs including instant noodles, curry, ketchup, mayonnaise, vinegar, oil and fat products and canned fish.
The company is best known for its Korean-style ready-to-eat curry products, ketchup and mayonnaise. In the Korean market, Ottogi still has over 80% market share for ketchup and mayonnaise. Ottogi also manufactures instant ramen, noodle, pre-washed rice, dumpling, tea and many more. The company plans to broaden its food portfolio in coming years.
The company established local subsidiaries in China in 1992, New Zealand in 1997, United States in 2005 and Vietnam in 2008. Ottogi currently sells in 30 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa.