(VOV) – Vietnam is the fourth largest consumer of instant noodles in the world, purchasing 5.1 billion packets in 2012 after consuming only 4.3 billion in 2009, reports the World Instant Noodles Association (WINA).
Vietnam’s instant noodle consumption has grown at a reliable double-digit rate and demand continues to rise in both urban and rural areas.
Statistics indicate Vietnam is home to around 50 domestically and foreign-owned instant noodle producers and manufacturers. Vina Acecook operates seven factories in HCM City, Binh Duong, Vinh Long, Da Nang, Bac Ninh and Hung Yen. Its brand reputation is improving.
In July 2012, Japan’s Nissin Foods invested US$41 million in an instant noodle factory based in Binh Duong province. Nissin Foods runs 47 factories in 15 nations and processes more than 1,200 types of instant noodles for the global market.
Last year, Vina Acecook increased its investment capital to US$10 million, upgrading two of its HCM City factories to Southeast Asia’s most advanced level. Kinh Do Joint Stock Company is scheduled to introduce new instant noodle products into the Vietnamese market in September 2013.
The WINA says major companies dominate Vietnam’s market share. Vina Acecook currently claims 50 percent, followed by Asia Foods (more than 20 percent) and Masan (approximately 10 percent). Smaller businesses own the remaining 20 percent.
Companies like Vifon, Saigon Ve Wong (Aone), Colusa, and Miliket have managed to earn 2-5 percent, according to a Euromonitor survey.
Supermarket instant noodle prices range from VND2,500 to tens of thousands of VND per packet. Manufacturers realize that their products would rather meet different consumer tastes or risk being taken off the shelves.
Local brands are struggling to survive in a highly competitive marketplace. Although Colusa Miliket’s noodles were popular with Vietnamese consumers from as early as 1975, it has failed to keep pace with foreign rivals, earning a profit of just VND37.3 billion last year.
The food processing industry provides a wide range of instant products including vermicelli, rice paper, and plain rice soup. Some of its leading brands belong to Vina Acecook, Bich Chi, Asia Food, Binh Tay, Colusa-Miliket, Masan, and Vifon. Rice powder products are generally more expensive than wheat-based instant noodles.
The Vietnamese food processing industry exports its instant products to Eastern European markets like the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary, as well as advanced industrial nations such as the US, Australia, France, Germany, and Canada.