Packages of ramen are on the shelves at a discount store in Seoul on Monday. (Yonhap)
The report, published by the Korea Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corp., is based on a survey conducted on 500 people aged between 15 and 65.
By gender, men and women ate ramen 1.8 times and 1.5 times per week, respectively.
Men in their 20s and 50s were the most frequent ramen consumers, eating ramen twice a week, while women in their 60s consumed the least, at just 1.3 times a week.
Allowed to provide multiple answers, 58.2 percent said they consumed ramen for lunch, while 43.2 percent preferred ramen for dinner.
Still, more than 80 percent of respondents favored offline channels to purchase ramen. Those purchasing ramen online marked 14.8 percent.
Nongshim’s flagship Shin Ramyun was the most favored ramen brand, with a 16.9 percent market share, followed by Ottogi’s Jin Ramen (9.5 percent) and Nongshim’s Chapagetti black bean instant noodles (7.5 percent).
Last year, the nation’s top four ramen makers — Nongshim, Samyang, Ottogi and Paldo –recorded 2.01 trillion won ($1.4 billion) in combined sales, down 6.7 percent from a year prior.
But their exports increased 11.7 percent to $670 million last year despite an unfavorable foreign exchange rate — a winning streak for a seventh consecutive year.
China was the largest importer, taking in 22.2 percent, followed by the US (12 percent), Japan (9.7 percent) and Taiwan (4.7 percent).
In the meantime, South Korea’s ramen imports more than doubled to $12.4 million last year, possibly due to more diversified tastes among local consumers.
By Lee Yoon-seo ([email protected]rp.com)