Amid the growing popularity of hallyu (the Korean wave), an increasing number of domestic food companies are knocking on the doors of Mongolian market.
Korean-made food and beverages have begun to flood the local market, making Mongolia emerge as a new blue ocean for the so-called K-food.
Nongshim ranked the first in sales of ramen (instant noodles), accounting for 40.5 percent of the Mongolian market last year. This is the first time the company registered more than a 40 percent share there since it first advanced entered in 2007.
Nongshim attributed the success to advertising by Mongolian migrant workers here, plus efficient Korean-style marketing activities. In consideration of the relatively poor shopping environment in Mongolia, Nongshim has been continuously deploying systematic display and sampling events.
"As Mongolia does not have its own brand, global names have been competing there to take the lion's share. We plan to beef up marketing in small and medium cities as well as the capital of Ulan Bator to gain a market share of 50 percent within this year," Koo Myung-seon, in charge of China marketing affairs, said.
Oriental Brewery (OB), for its part, exported 560,000 cases of beer to Mongolia last year, taking about 10 percent of the total market. Cass, in particular, is accounting for about 30 percent of the premium beer market despite its relatively expensive price.
The company said its success was due to the development of a new method of keeping the temperature of the beer constant to cope with the cold weather in winter that goes below 30 to 40 degrees centigrade.
Ottogi has also been faring well since it made inroads into Mongolia in 2002. Riding on the steady rise in the popularity of hallyu, sales of its mayonnaise, ramen and cooking oil have continued to increase. Its exports of food items doubled to 2 billion won last year, from 1 billion won in 2009.