Nongshim challenging Paldo with winter 'bibimmyeon'

By Kim Bo-eun

Nongshim challenging Paldo with winter 'bibimmyeon'

Nongshim’s winter edition of “Baehongdong Bibimmyeon” / Courtesy of Nongshim

Nongshim said Thursday that it had launched a winter edition of its cold spicy noodle product, “Baehongdong Bibimmyeon,” in what is seen as an attempt to challenge the No. 1 brand on the market

The food company launched “Baehongdong Bibimmyeon” in March. “Baehongdong” is a portmanteau of the first syllables of the Korean words for pear (bae), red pepper (honggochu) and dongchimi, a water kimchi made with Korean radishes. The spicy noodle product contains these three ingredients.

“Bibimmyeon” is a cold, spicy, mixed noodle dish usually enjoyed during the hot summer. Nongshim said it had launched the winter edition of the mixed noodles, backed by its popularity.

Nongshim’s Baehongdong Bibimmyeon ranked second this year in the bibimmyeon category, recording over 20 billion won in sales. Paldo is the No. 1 local brand in the segment with a 60 percent market share.

The winter edition is characterized by a cheese powder, made from camembert, cheddar and parmesan cheeses. Nongshim said that the cheese powder was a symbolic element of the winter edition because when added after the noodles are prepared, it looks like snow.

“We launched the Baehongdong Bibimmyeon winter edition, backed by the popularity of the bibimmyeon product launched earlier this year,” a Nongshim official said. “We hope to offer a new type of bibimmyeon to customers.”

The local market for bibimmyeon has continued to grow over the years. According to data from the Korea Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corporation, the bibimmyeon market grew from 67.2 billion won in 2014 to 131.8 billion won in 2018. The market is estimated to have grown to 140 billion won last year.

Nongshim, Ottogi, Pulmuone and Samyang each launched new bibimmyeon products amid the trend. Paldo also launched a winter edition of its signature bibimmyeon this year. The company collaborated with Samjin to offer a mild, hot soup, to be enjoyed with the cold, spicy noodle dish. Competition in the market for winter bibimmyeon products is growing. Ottogi is also set to launch a similar product, which consists of the cold, spicy noodle and ingredients for a hot soup.

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