CJ CheilJedang eyes global market for Korean HMR cuisine

By Won Ho-jung
  • Published : Oct 11, 2017 - 16:44
  • Updated : Oct 11, 2017 - 16:44
CJ CheilJedang is looking to take its home meal replacement business overseas, the company said Wednesday.

“Ultimately, we are looking to compete overseas than domestically. To do that, we must have competitive research and development, as well as R&D for localizing our products,” Kang Sin-ho, the company‘s executive vice president of the food division, told reporters at a press conference Wednesday.

The company is pursuing the growing HMR market with three main brands -- Haetban, which offers ready-to-heat rice, Bibigo, which produces dumplings and soup, and Gourmet, which includes Western-style dishes. Bibigo will be the main brand for marketing overseas.

CJ CheilJedang CEO Kim Chul-ha speaks to reporters at a press conference held at CJ HumanVille in Seoul Wednesday. (CJ CheilJedang)

“Since there are other companies abroad who are already able to create Western HMR dishes better than we can, we want to focus on Korean HMR cuisine, which we can do best,” said Son Eun-kyung, senior vice president of the food marketing division. 

According to Son, interest in Korean food overseas is especially high among younger millennial consumers, and the company will be pursuing various digital marketing strategies to fuel growth abroad.

“We will have two major strategies to continue growth. The first will be to create products based on consumer needs, through analysis of big data. The second will be to continue developing techniques to enhance flavor, nutritional balance, packing and value,” said Kim Chul-ha, CEO of CJ CheilJedang. 

This year, CJ CheilJedang is looking to reach 1.5 trillion won ($1.32 billion) in HMR sales with about one-fifth of those sales coming from overseas. By 2020, the company hopes to reach 3.6 trillion won in sales with 1.4 trillion won coming from overseas.

To achieve localization, CJ CheilJedang is also increasing its infrastructure overseas. It currently operates local R&D centers in the US and China, and also has five factories in China as well as two factories in the US. 

By Won Ho-jung (