Tag Archives: nong shim america

A Nice Surprise From Nongshim America!

Was looking at my posts and found this on that I hadn’t posted for some reason – check it out – it’s from 2013

When we got home from the hospital yesterday, I called the apartment office to see if there were any packages – they said there was one. A mailer from Nongshim America – what’s inside?

There were a couple of sheets of stickers… I immediately put them in one of my noodle binders (yes, I have binders full of instant noodle stuff – mostly the lids and empty packaging).

Holy cow! Two sheets of special postage stamps with PSY and Shin Black Cups! Thank you! What’s funny is that when I was very young, I collected stamps, and then my mother took that over once I lost interest. So one sheet will stay in the binder and one will go to my mom. Thanks to Ray A., Hannah C. and all the great folks down in Rancho Cucamonga at Nongshim America – miss you guys!

New Product Samples From Nongshim America!

Today I got a big box in the mail from Nongshim America! Wonder what’s inside…

Bowl Noodles! But wait – Chapagetti in a bowl? Yep! This is one of the things I got to try while at Nongshim America in May. Not only did I get to try these new bowl products in their R&D department but was able to watch them being made – from raw ingredients to wrapped bowl all in an efficient straight line. Twas amazing! I’ll be reviewing these very soon! Keep your eyes peeled! Thanks go to Mr. Ray Adams and everyone else at Nongshim America for sending these along!

Meet The Manufacturer: An Interview With Nongshim America

Here’s the interview that I did with Nongshim America. This was a lot of fun!

THE RAMEN RATER> Thank you for the opportunity to do this interview! For those not familiar, can you tell us about some of your most popular instant noodle products?

NONGSHIM AMERICA> Shin Ramyun is by far the most iconic and popular of all noodles.  Recently we released a new product known as Shin Ramyun Black (in short – Shin Black). This product has been developed to meet the taste of modern people by adding a lot of garlic and shiitake mushrooms into a new beef broth.  Chapagetti is another popular brand.  It is made with black soybean paste known as “Chajang” and is amazingly delicious.  Negouri  – Anyone who enjoys thick, rich, noodles, will appreciate this product.  It is a perfect combination of spicy seafood soup with plump noodles.  We also have a relatively new bowl product line released early last year and have several different flavors.  Some of the flavors are: Hot & Spicy, Spicy Kimchi, Shin Bowl, Savory Chicken, and Savory Shrimp just to name a few.  This line offers a microwaveable bowl, 0g Trans Fats, and has no MSG added.  The Nongshim product lines are large and have several types of noodles to suit any palate; please visit our product section of our website to understand all of the products we offer.  http://www.nongshimusa.com.

TRR> Do you produce and sell products other than instant noodles?

NSA> Here at Nongshim America we produce noodle products only; however, Nongshim worldwide has several divisions.  Most people are aware of the noodle division and a majority of our North American supplied noodles are produced right here in Rancho Cucamonga California. We also have a snack division (Nongshim Korea) that imports to North America great snacks such as: Honey twists, Banana kicks, Shrimp Crackers and Cho Chung u-gua (which is a honey coated snack).  There is a beverage division that works with other well-known U.S. major brands to produce drinks for the Korean and European market (also Nongshim Korea).

TRR> How did Nongshim first come into existence? Can you tell us a little about your history?

NSA>  Nongshim began in South Korea in 1965 and was known as the Lotte Industrial Company.  Several years later, the brand name was changed to Nongshim.   In 1971, the development of the shrimp cracker products took place.  Then in 1986, Shin Ramyun was developed; prior to this, noodles were plain and the soup base was an afterthought.  Shin Ramyun’s spicy-chewy noodles changed everything.  Not long after the development of Shin Ramyun, Nongshim topped the Korean noodle market in terms of market share and is commonly referred to as “The Food of the Citizen”.  Today, Nongshim has seven (7) manufacturing facilities in South Korea, three (3) in China, and one (1) in North America (Nongshim America).  Also, the Nongshim Parent HQ office is in Seoul, Korea.  What’s more, Nongshim supplies 80 different country’s with product.

TRR> We are here today in Rancho Cucamonga at Nongshim USA. When did it become evident that a plant be built in the United States?

NSA> A West Coast office was established in 1984 and by 1994 an official Nongshim America Sales team began in the Southern California area.  In 2002, it was clear that a U.S. based manufacturing facility was needed and in 2005, Nongshim America began producing its award winning noodles.

TRR> Why did you pick southern California as a base of operations in the USA?

NSA>  Southern California appears to be the central location for the Asian culture as well as the true meaning of America’s melting pot.  It has the greatest cultural diversity within a short traveling distance compared to any other location in the U.S.  This enables us to field test our products and get instant results on how it may perform.  Also, the Southern California ports allow for relatively easy access for raw materials that enter the U.S.  Additionally, local supporting business industries and the Interstate Highway systems which create a great overall Hub location for any company to thrive.

Additionally, we are currently searching for a second North America facility located on the Eastern region of the country.  We have contacted a few states and we are definitely interested in talking to regional Economic Development Organizations regarding their area.  Our goal is to begin production within the next few years.
TRR> What was Nongshim’s first product? How did it do?

NSA> Our first Nongshim America product produced was Shin Ramyun.  It represents 29% of our total annual product produced.

TRR> What does the name Nongshim mean?

NSA> The Nongshim seed was created to symbolize everything that we as a company believe in, with the creed that “you reap what you sow”. You’ll find this incorporated into every aspect of our business – we see the seed as a source of life that will bud and ultimately bear fruit with commitment and care.  We depicted this seed in red to stand for the blessings and richness of nature.  Nong Shim translates into “farmer’s heart”.

TRR> I would imagine that the product most synonymous with the name Nongshim is Shin Ramyun. Can you tell us a little about it?

NSA> Brandstock listed Shin Ramyun as the number one (#1) of all food brands and listed it as number eight (#8) of all brands in Korea.  It is the top selling product for Nongshim with 21 Billion Units sold worldwide since its development.  Fun Fact: 21 Billion Units will go around the earth 96 times.  The symbol that you see on the package is the Chinese character which means spicy and this also happens to be the last name of a former Nongshim President.  The package design itself has seen relatively little change since its humble beginning.  Shin Ramyun represents the instant noodle industry and has a perfect blend of spices for a traditional Korean taste.  This Spicy Soup may make you sweat; however, the savory beef broth and fresh vegetables are not overpowered by the spices. The fresh ingredients in this Spicy Soup achieve perfect harmony and will satisfy and fulfill your appetite.

TRR> How does the process in which you make your noodles differ from other brands?

NSA> The greatest difference is the recipe.  Our blend of ingredients has natural balance that leaves the consumer wanting more.  Furthermore, Nongshim uses quality raw materials in all of our products.  Last but not least, Nongshim has its own Engineering division which designs and produces its own noodle equipment. This ensures consistency from plant to plant.

TRR> How do the noodles in your packages, cups and big bowls differ?

NSA> Most notably, the recipe is different due to the different cooking types and times of each one of these products.

TRR> You make a broad range of flavors of instant noodles – are there any new varieties that will be released in the United States and abroad soon?

NSA> Great question; businesses need to make additions to its product line to capture additional consumers and to adapt to the ever changing environment when it comes to the adult palate and this is why we have two new products that are coming out.  The first is a Shin Black Cup and the second is an Udon Garlic Teriyaki.  Both of these products are excellent tasting.  Our new Shin Black has been formatted into a cup and is ready to go anywhere you go; just add hot water.  The Garlic-Teriyaki Udon is just as it sounds and has a thick sauce that is extremely delicious.

TRR> I often am asked if I am worried about sodium levels in all the different instant noodles from around the world I review. How would you recommend people balance their enjoyment of instant noodles and keeping them as part of a healthy meal?

NSA> As with any meal, a balanced approach is always best.  The addition of vegetables and a protein increase the health benefits.  Another way is to add kimchi.  Kimchi is loaded with vitamins A, B, and C, and it also has lactobacilli (good bacteria) which help with digestion.

TRR> Is Nongshim involved in the local community around you?

NSA> Nongshim has a great program known as the Great Work Place (GWP) in place.  The program has four components.  The first is our team building program which promotes team building and supports local businesses.  The second is our product donations program which donates product to places such as the L.A Mission. The third program is our annual toy drive.  Each year we collect new toys from our employees as well as some funds from the company to purchase additional toys or items of need for an organization. In the past few years we have donated to the Loma Linda’s Children’s Hospital, The Leroy Haynes Center and last year’s donation went to Casa Colin’s Children’s Service Center.  In addition to all of this we are now working on an additional program that will allow employees time to perform community service work at selected events.  We also provide tours of our facility to Southern California schools and local community groups.  This allows them the opportunity to learn about our great philosophy and see how noodles are produced.  In fact, we recently won an award for our tours from the Inland Empire Manufacturing Council.  All of your readers can stay informed about product and community involvement by going to our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/nongshimusa.

TRR> How many packs and bowls of instant noodles do you make every year worldwide?

NSA> Here in Rancho Cucamonga, CA. we produce approximately 200 million units per year.  Nongshim worldwide produces approximately 3.3 billion units per year.

TRR> Can you tell my readers about any new and exciting products to look for in the near future?

NSA>  Yes we have some exiting products coming soon.  However, we are still in the development stage and we shouldn’t talk about them just yet.  I’m sure that The Ramen Rater will be one of the first to receive a case(s) when they are ready to be released.

TRR> Finally, when you personally enjoy some of your instant noodles, which do you, enjoy much and what (if anything) do you add to them?

NSA> I love this question; for every person you ask here at Nongshim you receive different answer and they are all great recipes.  The Nongshim product line is so versatile; it appears to have endless-great tasting possibilities.  I typically stick to Shin Ramyun and rotate between tastes. Recently I’ve been adding chorizo and an egg; YUM! You can’t go wrong with that combination.  Other times I like to add some cabbage and little chicken or I change it up by adding kimchi.

Well that’s all, folks! A really fun interview with great information from Nongshim America! I’d like to thank everyone at Nongshim again for the kindness and warmth they have extended to my wife and I.

#750: Meet The Manufacturer: Nongshim Bowl Noodles Spicy Kimchi Flavor (New Version)

I figured for Meet The Manufacturer Week: Nongshim, I would start with a Bowl Noodles I saw get made while I was at their plant! They were cranking them out en masse! I’ve reviewed the old packaging / version in the past and these new ones are very different. They’re made to be cooked in the microwave, so that’s how I’ll cook them.

Here’s the side and bottom of the bowl’s outer cardboard packaging (click image to enlarge).

Here’s the inside top of the bowl.

The noodle block.

The seasoning packet.

A ton of seasoning! Looks like this should be spicy!

The veggies live in the bottom of the bowl and I fished out a few – there’s definitely more than this in there.

Finished (click image to enlarge). In a pot on the stove, I put some of the new veggie mix we made from stuff we got at the local produce stand. Also, I found some Odeng (fried fish cake) at H-Mart and added it. After it boiled, I drained off the water and added it. The noodles are thinner than many but they’re great – not crumbly or weak – they’re of good quality. The broth is pretty good – I think it might be a tad less spicy than the old Spicy Kimchi Bowl Noodles – still, I like it. The veggies were pretty good, but not a lot of them. I like this one – adding some things to it to dress it up makes it even better. By itself, I give it 3.75 out of 5.0 stars. Looking at the old review, looks like they improved! UPC bar code 031146250301 – get it here!

Nongshim Bowl Noodles TV commercial.

K-Pop stars often do TV spots for all sorts of companies – especially instant noodle companies! Here’s one with T-Ara for Shin Ramyun.

Meet The Manufacturer: Nongshim America Visit

Here we go with another Meet The Manufacturer week! This one’s a little different of course since my wife and I actually took a trip and met the people who are Nongshim America! It was an amazing and fun visit – so without further adieu, here’s what happened. By the way, if you click on the images they get much bigger.

We got up very early in the morning and rode down to Seatac Airport. Was hard to get much sleep the nights before – really excited about this! I mean, going to an instant noodle plant? Come on! First we got our boarding passes, then of course an easy go through the security checkpoint and then onto the plane. I should mention that I have a horrible time with flights usually – my ears pop and it’s quite painful and usually I can’t hear much for the rest of the day. Well, my wife found these great things called ‘EarPlanes‘ that are like earplugs that keep your ears from popping in-flight. Awesome! Made the trip much more enjoyable!

Wow – two and a half hours later and we’re in Ontario, California! The climate is completely different – very flat, very dry, very warm and lots of palm trees! We were picked up at the airport by Ray Adams, the General Affairs Manager of Nongshim America. I spoke with him on numerous occasions before the trip about what we’d be doing and how everything would happen. Was really good to meet him in person!

Then we arrived at the plant. This place was really big! We went upstairs and were greeted by this sign! Certainly made us feel very welcome.

Right away, we met the President of Nongshim America, Mr. Chin. We met Mr. Shim, President of Nongshim Holdings next.

We spent a little time in the VIP Lounge to have something to drink and a quick bite. Ray told us all about how things get done at Nongshim Anerica. The way they do things is by having everyone on the same page – so for example, to approve my trip down to meet everyone and do a plant tour, a proposal was written and it went to everyone in every single department and them approved by the Presidents. Basically it’s a good way to keep from the ‘one hand doesn’t know what the other’s doing’ kind of thing. I also noticed that all the departments were very close to eachother marketing is footsteps away from sales, etcetera. It seems like a really good way of doing things to me. The sign above with the company’s motto is in english, Korean and Chinese – the languages spoken where Nongshim has factories.

Next, we headed down the stairs again to tour the plant. First thing we did was put on dust jackets, hairnets and beard-nets.  Then we went through an ‘air shower;’ a little room that blows air at you to remove any dust. Then a hand washing station, and into the corridor where the tour took place. Ray told us that the facility was built in such a way that tours could take place easily, so people could see how noodles are made! The corridor has all these windows to look in on the process. First, the ingredients are combined and a thick sheet of noodle dough comes out. Then, the dough is cut into noodles. From there, they get cooked, cooled, dropped into bowls with the seasoning packet and veggies, the covers put on, shrink-wrapped and finally put into boxes. From raw ingredients to finished product, it takes thirty minutes to make a bowl of noodles. One thing that was interesting is that Nongshim has its own division in Korea that makes equipment that does this – I found out that they also sell it to other noodle manufacturers. So they don’t only make their noodles, but their equipment makes noodles for other companies.

We found out that people who have different duties in the plant have different colored hats – For example, QC folks have yellow hats. This makes it a lot easier for people to find each other. The center picture is one I though people reading the blog would find exceptionally interesting. Guess what’s in the big yellow totes? Seasoning packets! Ray said they hold 15,000 of them! You could season a lot of noodles with that! At the end, we got to see the warehouse. Each one of those boxes look to be holding Bowl Noodles of different varieties. The Bowl Noodles boxes hold 12 bowls. Needless to saw, I think there’s one zillion Bowl Noodles in there! If your would like to go on a plant tour, you can! Check out the Plant Tour section of Nongshim America’s website.

Next stop was the Research & Development department. This was really great! Got to try Nongshim Jinjja Jinjja Ramyun for the first time – awesome! Also got to try three new things that are in development. I can’t really talk about them as they’re not available yet, but they were good! They asked me all sorts of questions about what I thought of the new products and I was happy to give my opinions. Never thought that being The Ramen Rater might actually have an impact on how a company makes it noodles! Quite an honor.

After the plant tour, we went out to lunch and then returned to do a planned interview. What wasn’t planned was that a TV crew from KBS (the biggest Korean TV station) wanted to come and do an interview – with me. When it comes out, I’ll definitely post a link. After that, we had out interview. I had a list of questions that I asked and got very good, long answers that you’ll get to hear and see when the video of that interview comes out as well! Very excited about both of the interviews. The photo in the center is of (from left to right) my wife Kit, myself, Ray Kim, General Manager of Nongshim America, and Ray Adams. It was the end of the day for us at Nongshim America and time to head to San Diego.

We thought that flying us down and back for a plant tour was very kind, but Nongshim also wanted to have us enjoy a nice little vacation. They put us up in a very nice hotel that was connected to Petco Park, where we got to see a Padres vs Dodgers game! Conversation always came back to instant noodles – a subject I could talk about for hours on end – and I did! Unfortunately, the Dodgers creamed the Padres – if you didn’t know, my wife and I are Giants fans and Giants are behind the dodgers right now in our division, so a Padres win would’ve been nice. Was a great time in the park!

The next day, we went to SeaWorld with Ray Adams and his family – was a great time!

After SeaWorld, we all went out to colossal Korean BBQ at a place called Buga. If you haven’t tried Korean BBQ, you really should – the little dishes are called banchan – the smells and different flavors are really quite amazing. After dinner, we went back to the hotel. Said our goodbyes to Ray Adams and took a short walk around the Gaslamp Quarter. Then to bed for an early flight home.

I want to thank everyone at Nongshim America who made this happen; we aren’t wealthy and this was a trip we couldn’t have normally done. It was really amazing to see how all aspects of a company can come together to form not so much a list of employees and bosses, but a real feeling of family. I think a lot of companies could learn a lot from your example.

Mr. Chin – NSA President, Mr. Shin – NSH President, Ray Kim – CFO, the Admin Team: Ray Adams, Nikki Adams, Hannah Choi, Hannah Bae, Jeff Schlotzhauer, the Marketing Team: Kevin Chang – Marketing Sr. Manager, Philip Han,  the R&D Team: Michael Kim – R&D Sr. Manager, Sean Kim – R&D Manager, Young Hee Park, Juan Carlos Aguirre, Tommy Pham, Rachel Kim and Min Choi. Thank you one and all for an experience that we shall never forget.