China, the world's largest producer and seller of instant noodles, is headed for a bright future in this industry, with its production set to exceed 100 billion packets within ten years.
China, the world's largest producer and seller of instant noodles, is headed for a bright future in this industry, with its production set to exceed 100 billion packets within ten years. [File Photo]
Meng Suhe, secretary-general of the Chinese Institute of Food Science and Technology (CIFST), said, "It's very likely that China will sell 90 billion packets of instant noodles in the upcoming ten years as calculated on a national population base of 1.5 billion. If other instant food products are taken into account, the industry will see its production exceed 100 billion packets. "
Meng added, "The most important thing at present is that all manufacturers should make joint efforts to spur the industry development through technology and management upgrading".
According to the CIFST Flour Product Branch, China has become the world's largest producer and seller of instant noodles. In 2011, the country produced a total of 48.4 billion instant noodles packets, with overall sales amounting to 55.8 billion yuan (US$8.86 billion).
China's instant noodles industry, lead by the four top brands which include Master Kong, Jinmailang, Baixiang and Uni-President, has undergone rapid development over the past 30 years. From noodles innovation, seasoning pack innovation and the enhancement of the products' added-value, the industry is now developing towards diversification, high-end status and brand competitiveness. This explains why the number of Chinese producers fell from over 800 to about 80 between 2000 and 2010.
Meng thought that people had ignored the role of instant noodles in the national economy. She said, "The Chinese consumed an average number of 30 instant noodles packets in 2011, which is only half of that in well-developed markets such as those in Japan and South Korea. This indicates that China still has great potential for the development of this industry."
In the "12th Five-Year Development Plan for Food Industry", jointly released by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) late last year, it is stated that the sales for instant noodles will reach 100 billion yuan (US$15.9 billion) by 2015. Meng said, "There are a number of issues which need to be properly addressed in order to achieve this goal."
Meng added that three major factors, namely the demonization of instant noodles as a lower salty food with harmful ingredients such as preservatives, market shrinking and an imbalanced industrial structure, are influencing the swift development of the industry. It's vital to convey correct information to consumers in order to change their misconceptions about this food.