Have you tried Samyang Food‘s famous Fire Chicken Ramyeon yet? Sales are skyrocketing internationally, and it could all be down to the incredible selling power of BTS‘s Jimin.
Between July and August this year, Korean instant ramyeon manufacturer Samyang Food reported an unusual increase in its export figures. In the one-month period, overseas sales of Samyang ramyeon increased by a staggering 158% in the United States.
Conversely, exports of Nongshim Shin Ramyeon only increased by 25% in the first half of 2020, despite Nongshim typically dominating the instant ramyeon market in the U.S.
But why? Some think it may all be down to BTS’s Jimin. In an article for Korean industry news outlet Business Watch, one reporter noted that the rise in Samyang ramyeon sales could be attributed to popular videos of Jimin eating the brand’s famous Fire Chicken Noodles.
Jimin is known for his love of spicy ramyeon. In one video clip from earlier this this year, Jungkook is seen watching in amazement as Jimin slurps the extra-spicy Samyang ramyeon like it’s nothing. Despite his lips swelling up, Jimin can be heard insisting the noodles are not that spicy.
Jimin eating buldak noodles & claiming it’s not spicy 🥵🔥 then there’s Jungkook just watching him struggle & sweat..
— BTSARMY Kitchen & Bar⁷ (@BTSARMYKitchen) June 21, 2020
Now, it seems the video piqued the interest of BTS’s American fanbase, which has been growing exponentially since the releases of “Boy with Luv”, “ON”, and English-language single “Dynamite”. Within a month of the clip surfacing, Samyang’s exports skyrocketed. A 35% increased was also recorded in China.
While some may think it’s impossible that Jimin could have so much impact, it wouldn’t be the first time a BTS member has had an influence on the food industry. Last month, Trading Economics showed that the U.S. milk index saw a 1.62% spike right after Jungkook posted a picture of a glass of milk. Given that the milk commodity trade fell 4.09% over the course of the year, Jungkook’s impact definitely seems like more than just a coincidence—just like Jimin’s.
— 방탄소년단 (@BTS_twt) September 3, 2020
Since the global sales of Samyang ramyeon increased, the company has decided to invest ₩200 billion KRW (about $176 million USD) into the construction of a new factor in Miryang, Gyeongsangnam-do. The establishment will be dedicated solely to producing more ramyeon for overseas exportation.