Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Why are China instant noodle sales going off the boil?
Why does it matter? That’s because China’s instant noodle market is so huge, about 38 billion packages were sold in 2016 alone, nearly 30 packages per person in the world most populous country. But there was a steep decline of seven billion packages from the record sales of 45 billion packages in 2013. The decline equals the total cup noodle sales in Japan in 2016, the third largest market after China and Indonesia. Huge impact for noodle packers.
There seem to be several reasons for the sharp decline. Chinese people are becoming more health conscious after hundreds of millions joined the middle class. And they are historically so. Also, the decline of migrant workers who live themselves away from their family seemed to affect the sales. They are more likely the top consumers of such quick and filling food. Another factor seems to be the highspeed railway systems, which shortened travel times drastically. It was and still is, quite common for passengers on conventional trains to fill their stomach with instant noodles in China. But modern, clean and fast trains seem to have made passengers choose other options such as lunch box or food court in the newly built train stations. And of course, more air travels. Passengers are served meals for longer hauls whose taste and nutrition are comparable to those of instant noodles. The last thing to blame is smartphone apps, which allows hungry customers to order fresh meals and delivered in less than half an hour. No need to stock instant noodles for hungry kids or in the office. There are a bunch of alternatives nowadays. However disappointing this trend is, the market is still too huge to lose for noodle manufactures. Now is the time to compete.
Enjoy reading and think when was the last time you slurped an instant noodle soup.