K-food's popularity has been increasing day by day with 'Content Hallyu' on its back. Chicken is an indispensable food when discussing the popularity of K-food. From crispy fried chicken to seasoned chicken and chicken & beer. Korea's unique chicken food culture is dominating the world.
Genesis BBQ, led by Chairman Yoon Hong-geun, is at the forefront of the "Chicken Hallyu." Starting with China in 2003, it has been operating 700 stores in 57 countries around the world in 19 years since it entered overseas markets, strengthening its position as a global restaurant brand representing K-chicken.
It has more than 150 stores in the United States alone, the most advanced country in franchises. It is on a roll, with its U.S. corporate sales exceeding 100 billion won in 2021. Chairman Yoon's goal is to open 50,000 franchises around the world by 2030.
Foreign media are also reporting favorable reviews. In July last year, it ranked second in the list of "the fastest-growing restaurant brands in the United States" released by the global restaurant magazine "Nation’s Restaurant News."
Famous U.S. broadcaster "FOX News" also extensively reported BBQ as a favorite "K-chicken" for locals in Florida.
In August last year, he received a citation from the New Jersey State Legislature, where the BBQ U.S. corporation is located. Genesis BBQ contribution to economic development and job creation in New Jersey was recognized.
Representative Ellen Park of New Jersey delivered the citation, saying, "I would like to thank Chairman Yoon Hong-geun, who has contributed greatly to job creation in New Jersey through continuous investment despite being a foreign company in a difficult situation around the world."
Chairman Yoon also rolled up his sleeves to foster talent for domestic restaurant franchises. In January this year, Genesis BBQ raised the annual salary of new college graduates by 33.5% from 34 million won as of 2022 to 45.4 million won.
Beyond chicken franchises, it is also the highest in the restaurant franchise industry, approaching the average annual salary of new employees at large domestic companies.
“We judged that securing talented people with potential is the most important thing to overcome economic crises such as global inflation and interest rate hikes. We will foster young and fresh talent with the best treatment in the industry and open the 'new talent management era' as the world's top restaurant company," said Chairman Yoon.
Jin Ramen that caught the taste of those in their 10s and 20s...Ottogi
The reason why the ramen industry sees Ottogi as a threat is that the base of Ottogi ramen is deeply rooted in the entire 1020 generation. The distribution and food industry explains that "the advancement of the container ramen market reveals this well."
Container ramen is a product that people in their 10s and 20s often visit convenience stores because it is much easier to cook than bag ramen.
According to convenience store GS25, sales of Ottogi container ramen increased by 40.5% year-on-year between January and March this year. This figure easily exceeds the average sales growth rate (28.1%) for all container ramens during the same period.
By age group, the proportion of consumers in their 10s and 20s who chose Ottogi container ramen was 37%, 5 percentage points higher than other products.
Samyang Ramen, the first ramen in Korea
The 3.2 billion Korean-made ramens! It is the amount of 'K ramen' consumed in the global market except for Korea last year. If we divide this by the number of people in the world of 8 billion, it means that one person in every 2.5 people abroad ate K ramen.
At such places as Jungfrau, Switzerland's top tourist attraction called the roof of Europe, and rural villages in Ladakh, northern India, where electricity comes in for only three hours a day, we can also smell of ramen that reminds us of the "spicy taste of Koreans."
It is not just a reflection of the K-content craze. Behind the popularity of K ramen are the efforts of food companies that have strengthened research and development by establishing thorough localization strategies to promote the taste of Korea to the world for 60 years since the launch of Samyang Ramen, the first ramen in Korea, in 1963.
According to related industries, domestic companies such as Ottogi and Samyang Foods exported overseas or produced locally last year and sold ramen, up more than 20 percent from the previous year to 2.3 trillion won.
The ramen industry expects overseas sales to surpass domestic sales this year. Ramen sales sold in Korea last year amounted to about 2.7 trillion won, a difference of only 400 billion won from overseas sales.
Samyang Foods is the first Korean company to set up a ramen factory overseas. In 1972, it acquired a factory established by local Koreans in Brazil and operated it for three years, and in 1984, it invested $2 million to build a factory in Los Angeles with an annual production capacity of 3.3 million boxes and now sold it.
Nongshim, which built its first U.S. plant in 2005, beat Japan's Nissin in 2017 and ranked second in the local ramen market, followed by Japan's Toyosuisan (47.7%) with a market share of 25.2% in 2021.