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CJ Freshway is growing rapidly

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Food ingredient suppliers are seeing vibrant growth as HMR becomes popular
CJ Freshway is growing rapidly in the food ingredient market


Due to the growing number of single-person households and double-income families, the home meal replacement (HMR) market is growing fast. The secret to the popularity of HMR is that you can cook and eat it easily at a convenience store or at home.

This popularity of HMR can be said to be a new food trend created as a result of the combination between consumer needs and the advancement of food processing technology.

In the past, the HMR market was much simpler than now, mostly focused on instant cup ramen and food products that take less than 3 minutes to cook. Recently, however, there are a variety of HMR products with which you can be assured of having a nice meal.

HMR is largely divided into three types: RTE (Ready to Eat) food (triangular kimbap, sandwiches, etc.), RTC (Read to Cook) food (stew, soup, etc.) and RTH (Ready to Heat) food [samgyetang (chicken soup with ginseng), rice soup and bowl of rice served with toppings]. Any of them can be cooked easily within a short period of time.

This trend is accelerating the growth of the HMR market. The market has exhibited a CAGR of about 17% for the last five years since 2010 when the market size was about 770 billion won, and this year, the market is expected to reach the 2 trillion won mark for the first time.

With the growth of the HMR market, a certain company finds itself now busier than ever. The company's name is CJ Freshway, who supplies ingredients for HMR. Known as a leader in the domestic food ingredient distribution market, CJ Freshway generated sales of approximately 9 billion won in its HMR ingredient distribution business in the first half of this year.

Given that it attained about 7 billion won last year, the company has achieved rapid growth by about 25% year on year.

CJ Freshway supplies factories with raw materials for instant rice, instant soup and convenience store lunch box products.

The number of factories to which the company supplies its products also rose by 15, from 43 last year to 57. As a result, the company is forecasted to tally ingredient sales alone of about 18 billion won by the end of this year.

"With the rapid growth of the HMR market, our food ingredient distribution sales are also seeing a sharp rise," said an official from CJ Freshway's distribution sales division. "With the growing interest of consumers in the quality of food ingredients, HMR makers are also showing stronger needs for high quality food ingredients. As the HMR market has become a new trend in the food service industry, it is anticipated to show a consistent upward growth trend, and the demand for ingredients will also continue to increase accordingly."