2024
0
China Instant Foods Market Report 2024
2024-06-13T15:01:51+01:00
REP1C9E38DB_61E8_447E_84E9_B9840712CECB
3695
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Report
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This report looks at the following areas: Market size and future growth for instant noodles and self-heating foods Marketing activities and new product trends in the instant food market Consumers’…

China Instant Foods Market Report 2024

£ 3,695 (Excl.Tax)

Report Summary

This report looks at the following areas:

  • Market size and future growth for instant noodles and self-heating foods
  • Marketing activities and new product trends in the instant food market
  • Consumers’ instant food consumption frequency and eating occasions
  • Flavour drivers for purchases of new instant food products
  • Health and premium features in instant foods as perceived by consumers
  • Consumer attitudes and preferences regarding instant foods

Amid weak demand, the instant food industry must actively innovate to address challenges. Through innovation in product, technology and marketing, companies can develop more appealing products, improve brand competitiveness and achieve sustainable development.

Daisy Li, Associate Director, China Insights

Market Definitions

This Report looks at consumers’ perceptions, products purchases, consumption habits and opinions regarding instant foods.

Market size analysis includes instant noodles and self-heating foods. Instant noodles include add-hot-water noodles, cook-over-the-hob noodles, dry instant noodles and instant rice noodles or vermicelli. Self-heating foods include self-heating hotpots and self-heating rice. The market forecast includes instant noodles.

Excluded

This Report does not include ready meals.

Table of Contents

  1. Executive summary

    • Key issues covered in this Report
    • Definition
    • What you need to know
    • The market
    • The instant noodles market has slightly declined
    • Weak growth in self-heating foods
    • Graph 1: value sales of self-heating food market, 2021-23
    • Graph 2: value sales market share of instant foods, 2021-23
    • Market factors
    • Companies and brands
    • Master Kong continues to lead the way, while Uni faces growth challenges and Baixiang maintains robust growth
    • Marketing activities
    • New product trends
    • Graph 3: share of new launches of instant food products with health claims, 2019-24
    • Graph 4: share of new launches of different types of instant foods, 2019-24
    • Examples of products that reflect these trends
    • The consumer
    • Instant noodles are occasional supplements to everyday meals and are nearly saturated in penetration
    • Graph 5: consumption frequency of instant foods, 2024
    • Snacking occasions are the most prominent consumption occasions
    • Graph 6: penetration of instant food consumption occasions, 2024
    • Consumers are most motivated by domestic regional flavours and popular flavours on social media to try new products
    • Graph 7: instant food flavour triggers for buying new products, 2024
    • Fortified with various nutrients, high in vitamins/minerals and made from healthy ingredients are important features of 'healthy' instant foods
    • Graph 8: instant food health factors, 2024
    • Premium ingredients or soup bases, multiple toppings and high-quality packaging are the main sources of value
    • Graph 9: value perception in instant foods, 2024
    • Health and nutrition are as important as taste, while value for money is more important than product prestige
    • Graph 10: instant food purchase factors, health and nutrition vs taste, 2024
    • Graph 11: instant food purchase factors, affordable vs high-end, 2024
    • Consumers expect more new categories but are less willing to buy more
    • Graph 12: consumption attitudes towards instant foods, 2024
    • Issues and insights
    • What we think
  2. The market

    • Market size and forecast
    • Fading demand for stockpiling after the end of the pandemic caused a slight decline in the instant noodles market
    • Self-heating foods show sluggish growth, and the overall market size is starting to shrink
    • Graph 13: value sales of self-heating food market, 2021-23
    • Graph 14: value sales market share of instant foods, 2021-23
    • Market factors
    • Price differentiation becomes the breakthrough point for brands as intentional spending continues
    • Breakthroughs in technology laid the foundation for sustainable development of the instant food industry
    • The cost of raw materials of instant noodles has slightly fallen
    • Graph 15: closing price of palm oil futures, 2021-23
    • Graph 16: wheat purchase price, 2021-23
    • The public and the authorities pay increased attention to low-fat healthy foods
  3. Companies and brands

    • Market share
    • Master Kong continues to lead the way, while Uni-President faces growth challenges
    • Baixiang's growth momentum remains strong, and Jinmailang needs to explore new paths
    • Category innovations accelerate the growth of small and medium-sized brands
    • Marketing activities
    • The integration of social media and ecommerce offers new marketing and innovation potential
    • Expand consumption scenarios to include outdoor activities
    • Environmental protection is a new element in corporate communications
    • Music festivals see explosive growth, and cross-category collaborations freshen up brand power
    • New product trends
    • Instant food innovation extends to a variety of formats and categories
    • Graph 17: share of new launches of different types of instant foods, 2019-24
    • Examples of innovative products beyond the traditional instant noodle category
    • Innovations are active in low/no/reduced fat and free-from claims
    • Graph 18: share of new launches of instant food products with health claims, 2019-24
    • Examples of innovative products with low/no/reduced fat and free-from claims
    • Chilled or frozen storage formats are a new direction for the development of instant foods
    • Graph 19: share of newly launched instant foods with different storage methods, 2019-24
    • Examples of innovative frozen or chilled products
  4. The consumer

    • Consumption frequency
    • Instant noodles market is close to saturation
    • Graph 20: penetration rate of instant foods, 2024
    • Graph 21: penetration rate of instant foods, 2023 vs 2024
    • Instant noodles have become an everyday meal addition, and there is room for the consumption frequency of self-heating hotpots to increase
    • Graph 22: consumption frequency of instant foods – selected options, 2024
    • Graph 23: consumption frequency of instant foods/ready meals – selected options, 2023 vs 2024
    • Women and high-income consumers are more willing to choose a variety of products
    • Graph 24: number of types of instant foods consumed, by gender/monthly household income/living situation, 2024
    • Consumption occasions
    • Dinner is the top occasion for eating instant foods, while growth potential lies in diverse snacking occasions
    • Graph 25: penetration rate of instant food consumption occasions, by consumption frequency, 2024
    • Graph 26: penetration of instant food consumption occasions, 2024
    • Workday dinners, late-night snacking and travel occasions have gained strong growth potential
    • Graph 27: instant food consumption occasions, 2024
    • Graph 28: monthly volume sales trends of instant foods with 'late-night' (宵夜/夜宵/深夜) in the product full name on Tmall/Taobao, 2022-24
    • Consumers aged 25-29 are more willing to spend on instant foods for workday dinners at the office, while the high-income group is expected to spend more on late-night snacks
    • Graph 29: instant food consumption occasions – late-night snack, by monthly household income, 2024
    • Graph 30: instant food consumption occasions – workday dinner (at office/school), by age, 2024
    • Diversify consumption occasions to tap into more growth potential
    • Graph 31: number of instant food consumption occasions, 2024
    • Graph 32: number of instant food eating occasions, by gender/age/monthly household income, 2024
    • High-frequency consumers are more willing to consume instant foods on various occasions more regularly
    • Graph 33: instant food consumption occasions – have consumed more, by consumption frequency, 2024
    • Flavours that trigger the purchase of new products
    • Consumers are most motivated by domestic regional flavours and popular flavours on social media to try new products
    • Graph 34: instant food flavour triggers for buying new products, 2024
    • Recreating the nostalgic flavours of childhood can be a differentiating factor
    • Global flavours appeal to high-income consumers more
    • Graph 35: instant food flavour triggers for buying new products – Japanese/Korean specialty dishes flavours, by region, 2024
    • Graph 36: instant food flavour triggers for buying new products, selected options, by monthly household income, 2024
    • High-frequency consumers are more enthusiastic about trying new flavours
    • Graph 37: instant food flavour triggers for buying new products, by consumption frequency, 2024
    • Health factors
    • Fortified with various nutrients, high in vitamins/minerals and made from healthy ingredients are important features of 'healthy' instant foods
    • Graph 38: instant food health factors, 2024
    • Non-fried noodles/vermicelli can effectively boost perceived healthiness
    • Innovative processing methods can enhance the credibility of non-fried claims
    • Graph 39: share of new launches with non-fried claims in food products, 2019-24
    • Health-focused consumers are more concerned about quality and processing methods, while taste-focused consumers seek a balance between health and taste
    • Graph 40: instant food health factors, by purchase factors, 2024
    • Consumers aged 30-39 have a stronger demand for health elements, while minus claims are more appealing to this group
    • Graph 41: instant food health factors, by age, 2024
    • Fitness and nourishing claims can encourage consumers to up their consumption frequency
    • Graph 42: instant food health factors, by consumption frequency, 2024
    • Value perception in instant foods
    • Premium ingredients or soup bases, multiple toppings and high-quality packaging are the main sources of value…
    • Graph 43: value perception in instant foods, 2024
    • …especially for those aged 25-39
    • Graph 44: value perception in instant foods, by age, 2024
    • Premium ingredients, big meat/seafood and endorsement by famous foodservice brands can promote trade-ups
    • Graph 45: value perception in instant foods, by purchase factors, 2024
    • Instant food purchase factors
    • Health and nutrition are as important as taste, and delicious taste is the key to boosting repeated purchases
    • Graph 46: instant food purchase factors, health and nutrition vs taste, by gender/age/consumption frequency, 2024
    • The importance of value for money over prestige is pronounced
    • Graph 47: instant food purchase factors, affordable vs high-end, by monthly household income/consumption frequency, 2024
    • High-end consumers pay closer attention to no additives and low GI or low carb, while value-for-money consumers are more likely to find Chinese nourishing elements appealing
    • Graph 48: instant food health factors, by purchase factors, 2024
    • Women, consumers aged 25-29 and high-frequency consumers are more inclined to stockpile instant foods
    • Graph 49: instant food purchase factors, stocking up vs impromptu purchases, by gender/age/consumption frequency, 2024
    • New brands and flavours hold developmental potential, as high-frequency consumers show a greater preference for emerging brands
    • Graph 50: instant food purchase factors, mainstream vs emerging brands, by consumption frequency, 2024
    • Graph 51: instant food purchase factors, familiar vs new flavours, 2024
    • Social media is crucial to increasing consumption frequency
    • Graph 52: instant food purchase factors, comprehensive ecommerce vs social media, 2024
    • Consumption attitudes towards instant foods
    • Consumers expect more new categories, but are less willing to buy more
    • Graph 53: consumption attitudes towards instant foods, 2024
    • The speed and convenience of instant foods are widely recognised…
    • Graph 54: consumption attitudes towards instant foods, selected items, by gender/age, 2024
    • Graph 55: consumption attitudes towards instant foods, selected items, by gender/age, 2024
    • …but instant foods are not a strong alternative to food delivery
    • Graph 56: consumption attitudes towards instant foods, selected items, by age, 2024
    • Emotional spending is more prominent in female consumers, while those aged 25-39 prefer to relieve stress with strong flavours
    • Graph 57: consumption attitudes towards instant foods, selected items, by gender/age, 2024
    • Graph 58: consumption attitudes towards instant foods, selected items, by gender, 2024
    • Consumers expect more variety in instant food packaging sizes
    • Graph 59: consumption attitudes towards instant foods, selected items, by gender/age/living situation, 2024
  5. Issues and insights

    • Further unleash the spending potential of high-frequency consumers
    • Tap into the spending potential of high-frequency consumers with differentiation
    • High-frequency consumer profiles
    • Graph 60: high-frequency instant food consumers (once a week or more) vs low-to-medium-frequency consumers (less than once a week), 2024
    • Good taste needs to become the priority in research and development
    • Strengthen the perception of 'healthy and affordable alternatives to main meals' positioning
    • Expand into diverse scenarios to reach low-to-medium-frequency consumers
    • Low-to-medium frequency consumers bring diverse demands for instant foods
    • Explore a variety of categories and flavours to drive the growth of snacking occasions
    • Convey emotional value in relevant scenarios
    • Offer a variety of packaging and sizes for different occasions
    • Sports and fitness trends give rise to new segments in instant foods
    • Graph 61: ways to de-stress, proportion of consumers who choose sports and fitness, 2020-23
    • Existing brands have already launched campaigns targeting active consumers
    • Related product development and marketing activities need to target active consumers aged 25-39
    • Focus on the rise of low-GI or low-carb foods
  6. Appendix – market size and forecast, research methodology and abbreviations

    • Market size and forecast – instant noodles
    • Methodology
    • Abbreviations

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