‘Hetbahn’, the synonym for ready to eat rice, welcomed its 10th anniversary. It was launched on December 12th, 1996 and is a blue ocean product of food industry which created a new category called ready-to-eat-rice which never existed before and grew to mega market of \\120.000.000.000 of annual sale.
After the initial launching period of 3~4 years it was not easy to advertise product due to rejection and disbelief of consumers on ‘buy and eat rice’. Despite of possible environment factor as popularization of microwaves, it wasn’t easy to convert consumers eating habits but with continued research and development to grasp the appetite of consumers they carried out product renewal and by doing so they overcame initial downfall and steadily grew and by 2002, they recorded \\50,000,000,000 of annual sale in 6 years.
Since then with the additional marketing of latecomers the promotion activities unparalleled in the past brought aggravation in earnings and expenses. As a front runner, CJ avoided the additional ‘suicidal’ marketing and as a result of focusing on product improvement and new product development, 15~20% growth is back on the track. They are being credited for normalization of market business environment through frontal attack.
Success factor of Hetbahn can be defined as brand power, business capability and positive promotion activities. However the most important success factor is the proud hidden expertise of identical product quality all year around through 13 years of research and development including the research and development period.
Hetbahn is actively progressing the overseas marketing as well. Since the later half of year 1997, they entered American market aiming for Korean residents and students who are studying in America and is expanding the range to locals. Especially with the collaboration with Annie Chun Corp. the renowned Food and Sauce Company in America which they acquired in 2005, they launched Hetbahn for America to suit the taste of Americans by using Annie Chun’s sauce and receiving good reviews. Also it is being supplied as in-flight meal for Korean Air and Asiana Airlines and it is becoming popular with not only to domestic passengers but also the foreigners as well.