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Instant Noodles - China - March 2013

“As an increasing number of snack options in China continue to snare consumer interest, the image of noodles as first and foremost a convenience product poses a challenge. However, there is scope for premium and healthier instant noodles to support growth if they can meet the demands of the growing numbers of affluent consumers and of a growing older demographic concerned about health and nutrition.”

– David Huang, Senior Research Manager

Some questions answered in this report include:

  • Will tailoring offerings to address specific occasions broaden the appeal of instant noodles?
  • How can convenient products address the demands of busy lifestyles?
  • Will premiumisation encourage trading up?
  • How can you cater to more affluent and adventurous customers?

 

Report Introduction:

With its establishment in the 1990s by Taiwanese interests the instant noodle market in China can be considered quite mature. Since the mid-2000s the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) has stood at some 5%, much weaker than in many other food markets in China.

The expansion of China’s middle class at nearly 15% year on year echoes a rise in disposable income, which has enabled consumers to trade up also in terms of their food choices. Accelerated urbanisation – with nearly 800 million people living in cities by 2020 (compared to 650 million in 2010) – looks set to create growth opportunities for instant noodles, with increasing concentrations of ready buyers and economies of scale in terms of retail channels, transportation and storage infrastructure.

However, instant noodle producers for the mainland market have not kept up with the consumers’ increasingly hurried, diverse and sophisticated lifestyles in terms of product innovation. In many ways, the products are much the same as they were 20 years ago.

The onus is on the manufacturers to meet increasingly vocal consumer requirements for convenience; for tastes and technologies that meet occasions for eating noodles that did not exist in China even ten years ago; for premium lines and new and bold flavours that cater for the increasingly adventurous palates of the well-travelled affluent consumers.

 

Liqueurs - UK - January 2012

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction

      • Definition
        • Report structure
          • Methodology
          • Executive Summary

              • The market
                • Figure 1: China retail value and volume sales of instant noodles, 2007-12
              • The forecast
                • Figure 2: China retail value sales of instant noodle sales and forecast, 2007-17
              • Companies
                • Figure 3: Leading companies’ share of retail sales of instant noodles in China, by value, 2010-12
                • Figure 4: Most popular brands of instant noodles bought in the past six months, by demographics, January 2013
              • Key issues
                • Tailoring offerings to address specific occasions broadens the appeal of instant noodles
                  • Figure 5: Occasions for eating instant noodles, January 2013
                • Convenient products address the demands of busy lifestyles
                  • Figure 6: Selected attitudes towards instant noodles, January 2013
                • Premiumisation can encourage trading up
                  • Figure 7: Attitudes towards instant noodles, January 2013
                • New, exotic tastes can cater to affluent and adventurous customers
                  • Figure 8: Selected attitudes towards instant noodles, January 2013
                  • Figure 9: Flavours of instant noodles consumers would be interested in buying, January 2013
                • What we think
                • Tailoring Offerings to Address Specific Occasions Broadens the Appeal of Instant Noodles

                  • Key points
                    • Nearly three quarters of respondents cite an interest in more instant noodles for specific occasions
                      • Figure 10: Agreement with the statement “I would like to see more instant noodles for different occasions”, January 2013
                      • Figure 11: Occasions for eating instant noodles, January 2013
                      • Figure 12: Agreement with the statement “I would like to see more instant noodles for different occasions”, by demographics, January 2013
                    • Travel occasions present instant noodle makers with significant growth opportunities
                      • Few manufacturers target the breakfast occasion
                        • Office workers make up a growing target market for convenience products
                          • What it means
                          • Convenient Products Address the Demands of Busy Lifestyles

                            • Key points
                              • Noodles that are easy to carry and ones that are easy to cook spark widespread demand
                                • Figure 13: New product launches in the instant noodles, pasta and rice market in China, by top five claims, 2009-12
                              • Convenience is a major driver for eating noodles
                                • Figure 14: Agreement with the statement “Convenience is the main reason I eat instant noodles”, by demographics, January 2013
                              • Strong demand for convenient-to-carry products while on the go
                                • Figure 15: Agreement with the statement “When I am going on a trip/going out, I like instant noodles that come in easy to carry packaging”, by demographics, January 2013
                              • Urbanisation and modernisation have increased the need for convenient snacking
                                • Figure 16: Annual growth in key snack markets in China compared with instant noodles, 2008-12
                                • Figure 17: Selected occasions for eating instant noodles, January 2013
                              • Convenient healthy products will appeal to those who cannot maintain a healthy diet due to a busy lifestyle
                                • Figure 18: Agreement with the statement “I cannot maintain a healthy diet due to my busy lifestyle”, by demographics, January 2013
                                • Figure 19: New product launches in the China instant noodles, rice and pasta market, by claim, 2009-12
                              • What it means
                              • Premiumisation Can Encourage Trading Up

                                • Key points
                                  • What makes for a premium instant noodle product?
                                    • Premium products appeal for different reasons
                                      • Producers are seeing premiumisation opportunities
                                        • Figure 20: Share of new product launches in the Chinese instant noodles market, by average price bracket, 2010-12
                                      • Freshness and quality are significant motivators for instant noodle choice
                                        • Figure 21: Selected attitudes towards instant noodles, January 2013
                                        • Figure 22: Agreement with the statements “Quality of instant noodles is more important to me than taste”, “I like instant noodles with high-quality soup ingredients (eg double-stewed soup)” and “Freshness of ingredients is important to me”, by demographics, January 2013
                                      • Bolstering consumer trust in instant noodles offers scope to fuel demand
                                        • Figure 23: Agreement with the statement “I would like to see more transparent packaging so that I can see what the noodles look like”, by demographics, January 2013
                                      • Promoting freshness and quality ingredients
                                        • Opportunities exist for adding value through a focus on nutrition
                                          • Figure 24: Agreement with the statement “I trust the claimed nutritional value of instant noodles”, by demographics, January 2013
                                        • Combatting artificial image presents opportunities for premiumisation
                                          • Figure 25: Agreement with the statement “Most instant noodles taste like they contain a lot of artificial ingredients”, January 2013
                                        • What it means
                                        • New, Exotic Tastes can Cater to Affluent and Adventurous Customers

                                          • Key points
                                            • A significant proportion of consumers are on the lookout for new flavours
                                              • Figure 26: Agreement with the statements “I would like to try new and different flavoured instant noodles” and “I prefer to try instant noodles with exciting new flavours”, January 2013
                                              • Figure 27: Flavours of instant noodles bought in the past six months, January 2013
                                              • Figure 28: Flavours of instant noodles consumers are interested in buying, January 2013
                                              • Figure 29: New product launches in the instant noodles, rice and pasta market in China, by flavour component, 2009-12
                                              • Figure 30: Agreement with the statement “Instant noodles are an ideal choice when I want to eat something with strong taste”, January 2013
                                              • Figure 31: Agreement with the statements “I would like to try new and different flavoured instant noodles”, “Instant noodles are an ideal choice when I want to eat something with strong taste” and “I prefer to try instant noodles with exciting new flavours”, by demographics, January 2013
                                            • New instant noodle taste sensations
                                              • Flavours of other Asian countries spark strong interest
                                                • Figure 32: Selected flavours of instant noodles consumers would be interested in buying, January 2013
                                              • Different types and consistencies of noodles can meet consumer requirements for new tastes
                                                • What it means
                                                • The Future of the Market

                                                    • Figure 33: China retail value sales of instant noodle sales and forecast, 2007-17
                                                • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                    • Figure 34: China retail value sales of instant noodles and forecast, 2007-17
                                                    • Figure 35: China retail value sales of instant noodles and forecast, best- and worst-case forecast, 2012-17
                                                • Appendix – Frequency of Eating Instant Noodles

                                                    • Figure 36: Frequency of eating instant noodles, January 2013
                                                    • Figure 37: Frequency of eating instant noodles, January 2013
                                                    • Figure 38: Frequency of eating packet (single) instant noodles, by demographics, January 2013
                                                    • Figure 39: Frequency of eating packet (single) instant noodles, by demographics, January 2013 (continued)
                                                    • Figure 40: Frequency of eating packet (multipack) instant noodles, by demographics, January 2013
                                                    • Figure 41: Frequency of eating packet (multipack) instant noodles, by demographics, January 2013 (continued)
                                                    • Figure 42: Frequency of eating packet cup/bowl/tub (single) instant noodles, by demographics, January 2013
                                                    • Figure 43: Frequency of eating packet cup/bowl/tub (single) instant noodles, by demographics, January 2013 (continued)
                                                    • Figure 44: Frequency of eating packet cup/bowl/tub (multipack) instant noodles, by demographics, January 2013
                                                    • Figure 45: Frequency of eating packet cup/bowl/tub (multipack) instant noodles, by demographics, January 2013 (continued)
                                                • Appendix – Occasions for Eating Instant Noodles

                                                    • Figure 46: Occasions for eating instant noodles, January 2013
                                                    • Figure 47: Most popular occasions for eating instant noodles, by demographics, January 2013
                                                    • Figure 48: Next most popular occasions for eating instant noodles, by demographics, January 2013
                                                    • Figure 49: Other occasions for eating instant noodles, by demographics, January 2013
                                                    • Figure 50: Occasions for eating instant noodles, by most popular frequency of eating packet (single) noodles, January 2013
                                                    • Figure 51: Occasions for eating instant noodles, by next most popular frequency of eating packet (single) noodles, January 2013
                                                    • Figure 52: Occasions for eating instant noodles, by most popular frequency of eating packet (multipack) noodles, January 2013
                                                    • Figure 53: Occasions for eating instant noodles, by next most popular frequency of eating packet (multipack) noodles, January 2013
                                                    • Figure 54: Occasions for eating instant noodles, by most popular frequency of eating cup/bowl/tub (single-pack) noodles, January 2013
                                                    • Figure 55: Occasions for eating instant noodles, by next most popular frequency of eating cup/bowl/tub (single-pack) noodles, January 2013
                                                    • Figure 56: Occasions for eating instant noodles, by most popular frequency of eating cup/bowl/tub (multipack) noodles, January 2013
                                                    • Figure 57: Occasions for eating instant noodles, by next most popular frequency of eating cup/bowl/tub (multipack) noodles, January 2013
                                                    • Figure 58: Occasions for eating instant noodles, by most popular frequency of eating other instant noodles, January 2013
                                                    • Figure 59: Occasions for eating instant noodles, by next most popular frequency of eating other instant noodles, January 2013
                                                • Appendix – Flavours of Instant Noodles Bought in the past Six Months

                                                    • Figure 60: Flavours of instant noodles bought in the past six months, January 2013
                                                    • Figure 61: Most popular flavours of instant noodles bought in the past six months, by demographics, January 2013
                                                    • Figure 62: Next most popular flavours of instant noodles bought in the past six months, by demographics, January 2013
                                                    • Figure 63: Other flavours of instant noodles bought in the past six months, by demographics, January 2013
                                                • Appendix – Flavours of Instant Noodles Consumers Would Be Interested in Buying

                                                    • Figure 64: Flavours of instant noodles consumers would be interested in buying, January 2013
                                                    • Figure 65: Most popular flavours of instant noodles consumers would be interested in buying, by demographics, January 2013
                                                    • Figure 66: Next most popular flavours of instant noodles consumers would be interested in buying, by demographics, January 2013
                                                    • Figure 67: Other flavours of instant noodles consumers would be interested in buying, by demographics, January 2013
                                                • Appendix – Brands of Instant Noodles Bought in the Past Six Months

                                                    • Figure 68: Brands of instant noodles bought in the past six months, January 2013
                                                    • Figure 69: Most popular brands of instant noodles bought in the past six months, by demographics, January 2013
                                                    • Figure 70: Next most popular brands of instant noodles bought in the past six months, by demographics, January 2013
                                                    • Figure 71: Other brands of instant noodles bought in the past six months, by demographics, January 2013
                                                    • Figure 72: Least popular brands of instant noodles bought in the past six months, by demographics, January 2013
                                                • Appendix – Brand of Instant Noodles Bought the Most Often in the Past Six Months

                                                    • Figure 73: Brand of instant noodles bought the most often in the past six months, January 2013
                                                    • Figure 74: Brand of instant noodles bought the most often in the past six months, by demographics, January 2013
                                                • Appendix – Behaviours and Attitudes Towards Instant Noodles

                                                    • Figure 75: Behaviours and attitudes towards instant noodles, January 2013
                                                    • Figure 76: Most popular behaviours and attitudes towards instant noodles, January 2013
                                                    • Figure 77: Next most popular behaviours and attitudes towards instant noodles, by demographics, January 2013
                                                    • Figure 78: Other behaviours and attitudes towards instant noodles, by demographics, January 2013
                                                • Appendix – Attitudes towards Instant Noodles

                                                    • Figure 79: Attitudes towards instant noodles, January 2013
                                                    • Figure 80: Agreement with the statements “When I am going on a trip/going out, I like instant noodles that come in easy to carry packaging (eg easy-to-carry pack)” and “Freshness of ingredients is important to me”, by demographics, January 2013
                                                    • Figure 81: Agreement with the statements “Convenience is the main reason I eat instant noodles” and “Quality of instant noodles is more important to me than taste”, by demographics, January 2013
                                                    • Figure 82: Agreement with the statements “I would like to see more instant noodles sold together with a prepared side dish” and “I like instant noodles with high-quality soup ingredients”, by demographics, January 2013
                                                    • Figure 83: Agreement with the statements “I would like to see more instant noodles for different occasions and “I would like to try new and different flavoured instant noodles”, by demographics, January 2013
                                                    • Figure 84: Agreement with the statements “I would like to see more transparent packaging so that I can see what the noodles look like” and “Most instant noodles taste like they contain a lot of artificial ingredients”, by demographics, January 2013
                                                    • Figure 85: Agreement with the statements “Instant noodles are an ideal choice when I want to eat something with strong taste” and “I prefer to try instant noodles with exciting new flavours”, by demographics, January 2013
                                                    • Figure 86: Agreement with the statements “I limit how often I eat instant noodles” and “I cannot maintain a healthy diet due to my busy lifestyle”, by demographics, January 2013
                                                    • Figure 87: Agreement with the statements “I trust the claimed nutritional value of instant noodles” and “I feel guilty when I eat instant noodles”, by demographics, January 2013

                                                Companies Covered

                                                To learn more about the companies covered in this report please contact us.

                                                Instant Noodles - China - March 2013

                                                US $3,990.00 (Excl.Tax)