The #1 commodity in Korean supermarkets: ramen

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I’m not statician or rep from Proctor & Gamble who checks how each of the aisles are filled up and down most rows of Homeplus’es or E-Marts, but when you see the row of ramen in the supermarkets here and they appear larger than the dairy section or bottled water sections of the store, you start to wonder…

Some interesting facts about these dried/fried and very tasty noodles (or at least until you’ve had your 10,000th bowl of them):

According to the International Ramen Manufacturers Association:

“As of 2005, approximately 86 billion ramen was consumed meaning that one person enjoyed 13 packs of ramen per year in view of the fact that the total population equals 6.5 billion.”

According to the Wikipedia article about “Instant noodles” in South Korea:

“South Korean people eat the highest number of instant noodles in the world. In fact, instant noodles are more common than non-instant ramen noodles, so the word ramyeon (라면), Korean for ramen, generally means instant one. Ramyeon is typically spicy. Shin (辛, 매울 신, literally “spicy,”) is one of the most popular brands in Korea. It has also become popular in China and the United States.[citation needed] The leading manufacturer of ramen in Korea is the Nong Shim company, which exports many of its products overseas. In the 1960s, instant ramen was introduced to South Korea from Japan, and its quick and easy preparation, as well as its cheap price, made it soon catch on. Most South Korean food stalls make instant ramen and add toppings for their customers. Instant ramen also tends to be added to budae jjigae (literally “boot-camp stew”), a stew made with assorted ingredients which was invented in the 1950s in the vicinity of U.S. military camps stationed in South Korea.”

Maybe the writer was talking about “per capita?” According to another page on the International Ramen Manufacturers Association’ website, China appeared to have the highest amount consumed followed by Indonesia, Japan and the U.S. with Korea trailing very closely behind the Americans.

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Filed under Business, Business practices, Food, Interesting..., Japanese life, Korea life, Random thoughts

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