Vietnam has been the third-largest instant noodle consumer globally for the past three years, according to the World Instant Noodle Association (WINA).
Data from WINA estimates that in 2022, China’s national noodle demand amounted to nearly 45 billion servings, followed by Indonesia at 14.2 billion, and Vietnam with 8.48 billion. This means each Vietnamese person consumed an average of 85 packs a year, ranking first globally.
The report indicates that the instant-noodle demand among Vietnamese decreased slightly between 2021 and 2022, with the figures down by nearly 1 per cent. However, the 8.6 billion packs sold in 2021 marked an increase of more than 20 per cent compared to 2020.
Vietnam is home to about 50 instant noodle producers, offering a diverse range of options and price points. Dominated by four major instant noodle makers, namely Acecook Vietnam, Masan Consumer, Uniben, and Asia Foods, the competition in Vietnam's instant noodle market is becoming fiercer.
In 2022, Acecook generated revenues of over $590 million. Annually, it provides the market with more than three billion instant food products each year, making it the largest instant noodle manufacturer in the nation.
Meanwhile, Masan reported that its convenience foods, including instant noodles, recorded a 7.8 per cent on-year growth rate in the first half of 2023. In the second quarter, this category reported growth of 24.6 per cent on-year.
Last year, food prices in many countries, including Vietnam, skyrocketed due to inflation, pushing consumers to switch to instant noodles as an affordable option.
According to WINA, Tom Chua Cay flavour (a mixture of shrimp and acidic flavours) is the most popular in Vietnam, and Vietnamese people prefer noodles with elasticity. They also add onions, lemons, and peppers to cooked instant noodles. In addition to flour noodles, many products use rice noodles, which is unique to the Vietnamese market.
| ||Vietnam ranks third in world in instant noodle consumption |
With 7.03 billion packages of instant noodles consumed in 2020, Vietnam ranks third in the world for instant noodle consumption, behind only China/Hong Kong and Indonesia, according to a report by the World Instant Noodles Association (WINA).
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Despite rising instant noodle sales during the pandemic, producers are under pressure to maintain operation with a reduced workforce, travel restrictions, and raw material challenges.
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From the early days of operation, Acecook recognised that the company’s high-quality food safety management foundation, technology, and extensive experience in instant noodle production in Japan is not enough – it is also necessary to create products with flavours suitable for local people.