High demands of instant noodles in Vietnam have brought both opportunities and challenges to the producers.
According to World Instant Noodles Association, Vietnamese rank fourth in the world among instant noodle consumers, with 4.3 million packets consumed in 2009. Since then the number has risen to 5.1 million, popular in both rural and urban areas.
This has led many companies to invest in the market.
Vietnam now has about 50 instant noodles manufacturers who are expanding their businesses. In 2012, the Japanese firm, Nissin Foods, opened a USD41 million factory in Binh Duong Province. This year the Vina Acecook also invested USD10 million into two factories in HCM City, bringing its total number of factories to seven.
According to the World Instant Noodles Association’s own statistic, Vina Acecook has about 50% of the market share.
The instant noodles market earned total VND20 trillion in 2012.
The supermarkets offer a great variety of noodles, mostly from Vietnam and Thailand and South Korea.
Amid the tough competition, several older brands, once familiar in Vietnam, such as Miliket, have gone by the wayside. The Miliket brand was introduced before 1975.
A number of other instant rice-based products have seen a similar shift, with a majority of consumers seeing them as high-end products.
As a result, many instant products found on the shelves of Vietnamese supermarkets are now actually produced in other countries, such as The Czech Republic, the US or Germany.