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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs  7 July 2014  

Instant noodles market grows despite increased competition

Vietnam: Inspite of the heavy competition between 50 domestic and foreign-owned instant noodles producers and manufacturers, Viet Nam's instant noodles market continues to flourish.

Kinh Do Group, better known as a sweets manufacturer, announced at its shareholder meeting in June that its first instant noodles product would hit the market by September this year, and the company would utilise its existing 200 outlets to distribute this product nationwide.

VnExpress quoted Kinh Do Group Deputy General Director Tran Quoc Viet as saying that confectionery remained the company's core business. However, penetrating the instant noodles segment, which would continue to grow significantly from now to 2017, would help the company attract more customers.

Phan Thi Tuyet Mai, General Director of TMTM, a producer of supplement foods and nutritional drinks in HCM City, agreed that there was untapped potential in the local instant noodles market.

After making its debut in late 2012, her company's Moringa noodles were now sold at Viet Nam's biggest retail distribution chains such as Saigon Co.op Mart and Big C, Mai told vnExpress, adding that her company's product was exported to European Union (EU) markets as well.

Not just nutritional food and confectionery manufacturers, but large supermarkets have also realised the attractiveness of the instant noodles market.

Two large supermarkets, Saigon Co.op Mart and Big C have launched their own instant noodles products.

"Instant noodles are favoured by many Vietnamese. Thus, we wanted to create our own product selling at affordable prices for the domestic market, and consumption power of our product has been increasing slightly," Saigon Co.op Mart Deputy General Director Nguyen Thanh Nhan said to vnExpress.

"If the market continues to run well in future, we plan to produce a new kind of instant noodles," he said.

The latest report of the World Instant Noodles Association (WINA) revealed that Viet Nam is the world's fourth-largest consumer of instant noodles, purchasing roughly 5.4 billion packets yearly.

The country ranks behind China, Indonesia and India in the annual consumption of instant noodles. However, when ranked on the basis of per capita consumption, it comes third behind South Korea and Indonesia. A Vietnamese person consumes an average of 56.2 packets per year while the figure for a Chinese person stands at 36 per year.

Viet Nam's instant noodles consumption has grown at a consistent double-digit rate and the demand continues to rise in both urban and rural areas.

In Viet Nam, the demand increased by nearly 24 per cent between 2008 and 2012, while the rate stood at 3 per cent in China and Indonesia and 5 per cent in South Korea and Japan for the same period.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

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