SEOUL, March 24 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's top instant noodle maker, Nongshim Co., is reviewing building a new factory in the United States, its top executive said Friday, in a move to meet growing demand for its products in one of the world's largest instant ramen markets.
Shin Dong-won, chairman and CEO of Nongshim, made the comments to reporters after the company's annual shareholders meeting earlier in the day.
"We plan to review the matter sometime late this year or early next year, after a careful review of sales trends," he said. "We have not yet decided on the location, but if we do establish one, we are anticipating it to be in the eastern U.S."
At present, Nongshim operates two factories in the state of California, which have been open since 2005.
Nongshim is currently the second-largest player in the U.S. instant ramen market as of last year, the company said.
U.S. sales of Nongshim's instant ramen more than doubled from US$225 million in 2018 to $490 million in 2022.
In regard to questions about Nongshim's future business plans, the CEO said he is mulling expanding business to "alternative protein, health functional foods and smart farms" but underscored the company will maintain its focus on snacks and instant ramen, two key products of Nongshim.