Since Orion was founded in 1956, we have led the Korean confectionery industry by launching numerous hit products such as Choco Pie, Pocha Chips, and Turtle Chips under the founding spirit of our motto, “when making food for people, it must come from the heart.” Building on our philosophy and tradition of integrity regarding food, Orion continues to innovate as we expand globally and catapult into a global provider of comprehensive food and healthcare offerings.
When competitors were focused on the domestic market in the 1990s, it conceived its vision to enter the Chinese market. Since then, it has successfully entered Vietnam and Russia, and established ourselves as a multinational company. Today, it operates 11 production sites in China, Russia, Vietnam, and India, and continue company-wide growth with offerings beloved by our consumers around the world with a strict localization strategy.
Orion pursues sustainable growth by carrying out ESG activities based on ethical management, which forms the foundation of our corporate management. It is transparently disclosing essential information such as introduction of an eco-friendly printing method, formation of TFT, facility enhancement and eco-friendly packing projects, and pioneering the national initiative for environmental management.
Orion opened our Beijing office in 1993 and built a production facility in Langfang, Hebei Province which is nearby Beijing, securing a full-scale presence in the Chinese market. In 2002, Orion constructed the Shanghai factory and built another factory in Guangzhou in 2010 to bolster the supply chain in the southern Chinese market. Orion became the first in the Korean food industry to break the KRW 1 trillion mark in sales in the Chinese market, and spurred expansion into three northeast China provinces by kicking off the operation of the Shenyang factory in 2014.
Based on top-notch quality, Orion China made not only Choco Pie (Haoliyou pai 好丽友派) and Oh! Gamja (Ya! Tudou 呀!土豆), but also Ye Gam (Shuyuan 薯願), Swing Chips (Haoyouqu 好友趣), Goraebab (Haoduoyu 好多魚), and Cutie Pie (Q帝派), the favorite snacks in the country, based on meticulous marketing campaigns and localization strategies that differ by region and city. In 2020s, Orion China launched a new category of snacks like nutrition bars and mass-produced pastries as new growth drivers.
As for manpower, we’ve hired locals with a deep understanding of Chinese food culture to be sales, marketing, and production heads. By adopting a tight localization strategy, we plan on gradually increasing the market share in China.
Orion set our sights on Vietnam when we began exporting Choco Pie, our flagship product, in 1995. In 2006, we built the My Phuoc factory in Ho Chi Minh City for our full-scale entry into the Vietnam market and strengthened our presence in the country by constructing a second factory in Hanoi in 2009. After setting up a local production system in 2006, we searched for retailers across Vietnam for 3 years and trailblazed our foothold in the country using uniquely charming Korean-style marketing. For instance, our salespeople cleaned the shelves every time they visited customers.
After 10 years since we set foot in the country, Orion Vietnam broke the KRW 1 trillion mark in cumulative sales in 2015. In the coming years, we grew at an annual growth rate of 10%, achieved cumulative sales of KRW 2 trillion in December 2020, and surpassed KRW 200 billion in annual sales in 2021. Today, Orion has become the largest confectionery company, outpacing other leading global competitors.
The biggest contributor to our success in Vietnam was continuous development of new products in phase with changing consumption trends in Vietnam, and our earnest efforts to open up the new market. Above all, we plan on solidifying our market leadership in new product categories such as mass-produced pastries, rice crackers, and jellies that have shown sharp growth. Also, by leveraging of our geographical advantage, we will expand our market to neighboring southeast Asian countries including Indonesia, Thailand, and Myanmar, as well as the Middle East and Africa.
Russian couriers in Busan sparked a boom in Choco Pies in the early 1990s, so Orion seized on it as an opportunity to enter the Russian market, and began exporting Choco Pies to Russia directly. In 2003, Orion founded Orion Russia and built a plant in Tver in 2006, setting up a local production system. This has heralded the path to full-fledged entry into the Russian confectionery market worth KRW 22 trillion.
In 2008, we built the second factory in Novo to significantly increase production of Choco Pies. In 15 years after we embarked on local production of Choco Pies, cumulative sales have surpassed KRW 1 trillion, while annual sales broke the KRW 100 billion mark with an array of differentiated offerings.
The dramatic growth of our Russian business is attributed to our commitment to creating a new market by developing new products that captivate the local taste buds and by expanding our biscuit lineup. Inspired by a Russian custom of making jams with berries that they grew in dachas (a vacation home in the countryside with a small garden), we launched new Choco Pie products using raspberry, cherry, blackcurrant, and mango jams, and fueled a second Choco Pie boom. Today, we are producing and selling over 10 types of Choco Pies in Russia, the largest number of Choco Pie variants across all Orion-affiliated companies worldwide. Going forward, we plan on expanding the supply of Choco Pies at the new factory in Kriptova, Tver, completed in June 2022, while launching diverse new products such as pies and biscuits. We are also committed to reaching new markets such as Central Asia and Europe.
Considering the nature of the Indian market, we built a factory in Rajasthan in 2021 jointly with Mann Ventures, a local manufacturer.
Based on the Orion Group’s know-how on global operations accumulated over several decades, we rolled out highly competitive products such as Choco Pie, Choco Chip Cookies, Custard, and Baked Rice Chips and tackled the Indian confectionery market with the size of KRW 17 trillion in earnest. We aim to set up our sales network centered around hypermarkets and convenience stores, while launching bold sales campaigns targeting major eCommerce channels including Amazon for the Orion brand to gain traction in the local market. Going forward, we strive to set the foundation for growth by continuing to release a new family of products geared to the Indian market.