South Korea’s Samyang Foods Co., Ltd. made a big appearance at SIAL Interfood 2016 in early November 2016. SIAL Interfood is one of the major food and beverage trade shows held annually in Indonesia.
The key theme at the event was to celebrate the hot chicken flavour ramen leveraging on the Samyang Challenge, which is trending on social media. Samyang Challenge is a dare where consumers has to eat the whole packet of the fiery noodle within the shortest possible time. This feat is often captured and shared on social media.
Samyang Challenge as the key word search on Google Trends – globally (image above)
Indonesians are wholeheartedly embracing the Samyang Challenge. Young consumer are especially keen on the craze of subjecting themselves to the trial of eating extremely spicy food and surviving the ordeal and boosting about the experience with their friends.
Some Indonesians are bringing the spiciness to the next level by adding local spices like cabe rawit (bird’s eye chili) and sambel shalom into the fiery mix to make it more potent.
Samyang at SIAL Interfood 2016
The Samyang Foods booth at SIAL Interfood 2016 paid homage to the fiery noodles – the hot chicken flavour ramen. The ‘stew’ type Samyang Bldalk Bokkeummyeon is the spiciest with a spicy level of three out of three, while the hot chicken flavour ramen (cheese) is the mildest with a spicy level of just one out of three.
Images above were captured by the author at SIAL Interfood 2016
Assuring consumers on halal
Samyang has come under a lot of attention in Indonesia and Malaysia over the halal issue. One consumer from Malaysia by the name of Nizam Tikir went to the extent of flying all the way to South Korea to visit the Samyang headquarters in Miasamgeori, Seoul to obtain clarification on the matter. (image below)
He received confirmation from Samyang Foods Co Ltd Executive Director of Sales (Overseas) that the Samyang instant noodles exported to Indonesia and Malaysia are made in Wonju. The dedicated factory is certified halal by the Korean Muslim Federation (KMF). The instant noodles sold in South Korea is not halal and a small portion of them ended up in overseas markets after being exported by unauthorised vendors. This is the root cause of the confusion why there are non-halal Samyang noodles in markets like Indonesia and Malaysia.
According to Halal Korea, a halal watch body in South Korea, the lack of a halal chicken slaughterhouse is the real reason why South Korea has to import halal chicken from Brazil. Chicken meat is used in the production of Samyang hot ramen noodles.
Samyang will need to work hard to assuage Indonesian and Malaysian consumers on the halal status of its noodles before it becomes unmanageable.