Domestic instant noodle consumption growing 20 percent annually

Vietnam passed the Republic of Korea (RoK) to lead the consumption per capita of instant noodles in the world in 2021, according to the World Instant Noodles Association (WINA).
Domestic instant noodle consumption growing 20 percent annually ảnh 1 Vietnam is considered as having a high purchasing power for instant noodles. (Photo nld.vn)

The rate per person increased from 55 servings in 2019 to 72 servings in 2020 and 87 servings in 2021 for Vietnam, which was 73 servings in the RoK and 55 servings in Nepal, according to Nongshim, a leading noodle maker in the RoK.

Local media said the RoK topped the world from 2013 to 2020. The tally was 75 servings in 2019, rising to 80 in 2020 but falling back down to 73 in 2021, while the figure for Vietnam has steadily increased from 55 in 2019 to 72 in 2020 and 87 in 2021, adding Vietnamese instant noodle market was growing rapidly, from US$5 billion in 2019 to $8.6 billion in 2021, reaching third in market size, following China and Indonesia.

A representative from Nongshim told the media: “Vietnam has a high purchasing power with its increasing economic growth rate. Also, people tend to eat at home rather than dining out due to Covid-19.”

Data said after the Covid-19 pandemic, instant noodle consumption in Vietnam skyrocketed. Overcoming India and Japan, in 2020, Vietnam became the third largest country in instant noodle consumption with 7 billion packages, up 29 percent. In 2021 the country consumed more than 8.5 billion packages of noodles, up 22 percent. In terms of growth rate, no market in the top 10 has surpassed Vietnam.

Insiders said that about 50 companies are currently producing instant noodles, including domestic and foreign enterprises, adding the market has been in a battle led by Acecook with the Hao Hao noodle brand, Masan Consumer with Omachi, Kokomi and Asia Food with the brand of Red Bear noodles.

A few years ago, Uniben, with the brand of 3 Mien noodles, entered the market strongly and became the fourth major player.

Officially put into operation in 1995, Acecook successfully built the Hao Hao noodle brand to become the national noodle of Vietnam, occupying the country’s largest market share of instant noodles.

In 2021, Acecook’s revenue was VND12.2 trillion, an increase of 6 percent and the profit after tax was VND 1.36 trillion, down 28 percent.

At the same time, with the huge ecosystem in Vietnam, especially the system of supermarkets/convenience stores WinMart/Winmart with thousands of points, Masan Consumer’s noodle products have a significant advantage in distribution.

According to data from VNDIRECT Securities Company’s analysis report, Omachi instant noodles dominate the high-end segment with a 45 percent market share.

In 2021, Masan Consumer’s noodle sales reached VND8.8 trillion, up 28 percent and equivalent to 72 percent of Acecook’s revenue.

Ranked fourth in the market, Uniben achieved more than VND3.4 trillion in revenue, up 12 percent.

In the third place, the revenue of Asia Food in 2021 decreased by 4 percent to more than VND5.5 trillion. Also recording less income, Safoco and Colusa-Miliket were announced. In 2021, Miliket’s revenue was  VND571 billion, down 7 percent.

As for foreign brands, Korean instant noodles were gaining popularity in the Vietnamese market, especially among young people.

Following the Hallyu wave bringing Korean culture into Vietnam through movies and music, Korean dishes such as kimchi, rice rolls, tokbukki, spicy noodles, etc. and black soy sauce are increasingly popular.

Korean instant noodle businesses such as Paldo Vina and Nongshim with Shin noodles were earning hundreds of billions of dong from the Vietnamese market.

In 2021, Paldo Vina recorded revenue of  VND912 billion, up 8 percent and a profit of  VND49 billion, which was higher than Asia Food.

Paldo Vina imported original products from Korea, such as Jjajangmen black sauce mixed noodles, which weigh four times more than a package of noodles produced in the local market.

Having been in Vietnam since 2018, Nongshim reached  VND150 billion in revenue and  VND9 billion in profit last year. The manufacturer installed noodle cooking machines at some convenience stores and operates food trucks in HCMC.