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Instant noodles market to pick up! Brought a cheer in the packaging printing industry
Join Date:  2019-11-18

Today, the Chinese instant noodle market has a message that the packaging industry is encouraging. After four consecutive years of sharp decline, the Chinese instant noodle market finally stopped falling in 2017, with sales increasing by 0.3%.

Taking Master Kong, which has a 44.2% share of the instant noodle market, as an example, the instant noodle business achieved revenue of 22.62 billion yuan in 2017, a year-on-year increase of 4.91%. Prior to this, Master Kong has experienced a decline in revenue for three consecutive years, and net profit has declined for four consecutive years. In 2016, the net profit for the full year was 177 million US dollars, down 31% year-on-year.

The ups and downs of large-sized instant noodles

Open the package, add the sauce and dehydrated vegetables, pour hot water, press the lid for three or two minutes, and eat. As the busiest nation in the world, instant noodles are the easiest to “cook” and can be sold quickly. Since the 1990s, the turnover of Chinese instant noodles has increased for 18 consecutive years. In 2013, the total sales volume of instant noodles in Mainland China and Hong Kong reached 46.22 billion bales, opening an average of 1,465 packs of instant noodles per second. The ups and downs of instant noodle packaging also reflect the floating of soft packaging and food packaging in some respects. However, since 2013, China's instant noodle industry has begun to decline due to multiple factors such as consumption upgrade, migrant workers returning home and take-out hot. . By 2016, annual sales of instant noodles in the Mainland and Hong Kong have fallen to 38.5 billion bales. Master Kong's convenient panel revenues fell from $4.332 billion in 2013 to $3.239 billion in 2016. With the migration of “cold winter”, the two giants in the industry, Master Kong and Unification, have begun to sell their assets in recent years. In 2015, six well-known instant noodle companies have closed down.

Despite this, in 2016, China sold nearly three times the number of instant noodles in Indonesia. In fact, the total sales of instant noodles in China is roughly equivalent to the sum of Indonesia, Japan, Vietnam, India, the United States, South Korea and the Philippines.

Instant noodles packaging

57 years ago, a Chinese-born Japanese named Ando Baifu invented the world's first instant noodles, legendaryly opening a world-wide food revolution, and Ando Baifu is also known as the "father of instant noodles." Today, the world's total demand for instant noodles has reached 102.74 billion, and China ranks first in the world with 44.4 billion.

As a person in the packaging industry, we should thank the Chinese-born Japanese Ando Pak Fuk for this great invention, and its demand for packaging is extremely huge. Instant noodles are packed in a variety of ways, such as cartons, bread bags, sauces, cooking bags, cups, and bowls.

In the past, due to the poor consumption power of everyone, instant noodles were mostly packed in plastic bags. The convenient packaging cost of a package was about 0.5 yuan, but now it has completely changed. In recent years, instant noodles in paper bowls and plastic bowls have been greatly welcomed by young people, which has greatly increased the value of packaging and the amount of cartons used.

The paper bowl is a multi-layer composite material, including heat-resistant plastic film, white cardboard, gray cardboard, printing paper and the outermost packaging plastic film, which is several times more expensive than plastic packaging. In addition, due to the large volume increase, the convenient instant noodle bowl is two to three times more convenient than the bag.

New trends in the instant noodle packaging market

Statistics show that the retail sales of the instant noodle market in China increased from about 80 billion yuan in 2012 to about 81.2 billion yuan in 2016, bringing about 15 billion yuan to the packaging market. According to statistics from the China Merchants Research Institute's “2017-2022 China Instant Noodle Market Development Forecast Report”, the Chinese instant noodle market may maintain steady growth in terms of retail sales in the future. It is estimated that the retail sales of the instant noodle market in China will reach approximately 93.7 billion yuan in 2021, and the compound annual growth rate from 2016 to 2021 is about 2.9%.

Source: Frost & Sullivan, China Business Research Institute

One sign that the packaging industry is encouraged is that with the hot sale of high-end instant noodles, the convenience of cup noodles and convenient bowls has grown significantly. In 2016, China's convenient cup noodle and instant noodle market retail sales and retail sales reached 38.3 billion yuan and 12.8 billion copies, accounting for 47.2% and 34.4% of China's overall instant noodle market, respectively. Driven by rising consumer spending and higher demand for quality instant noodles, China's convenient cup noodle and instant noodle market growth rate will continue to be higher than the growth rate of China's bagged instant noodle market retail sales, expected from 2016 to 2021. It will grow at a compound annual growth rate of approximately 2.3%.

In addition, a new trend has begun to appear in younger groups, and exotic flavors, personalized packaging, and well-packaged instant noodles have become new growth points.

However, a phenomenon worthy of attention is that due to the increase in the prices of major raw materials such as packaging paper, the gross profit margin of Master Kong fell by 1.86 percentage points to 29.41% in 2017. It can be seen that packaging is a key factor affecting the profit of instant noodles, which will mean that packaging plants with cost advantages will be more popular with instant noodle manufacturers.


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