Instant noodles market sees big growth during pandemic

The pandemic pushed instant noodles to become a staple diet for many worldwide amidst the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions.

As of 2019, the global instant noodles industry was worth just $44 billion. It originated in Japan around the 1950s and over time became a true global food, it is most popular in the South Asian countries.

Presently it is manufactured in over 90 countries and China is said to have the biggest demand when it comes to instant noodles.


When lockdowns were imposed demand for instant foods shot up. Consumer hoarding and stockpiling habits forced the sales by record numbers. Its easy to cook formula, long shelf life and cheap prices are the key contributing factors for rise in its demand.

Asia Pacific nations held a market share of nearly 80% in the pandemic year and of that China took the lead with the largest share of 60%.

More than 116 billion servings of instant noodles were consumed in the pandemic year. That is roughly 320 million servings a single day.

The World Instant Noodles Association reported that China has crossed 46,000 million servings in 2020 alone. Followed by China is Indonesia with over 120,00 million servings in 2020.

Korea took the lead with a per capita consumption which stood at 79 servings. Then there was Vietnam with 72 servings at the second position and finally Nepal at the third position with nearly 53 servings in 2020.


“The company had registered growth in its sales revenue and operating profit in the first quarter for the year 2020 as compared to the previous years,” Said Kiyotaka Ando, CEO of Nissin Food Holdings said.

Another Korean corporation Nongshim Co. had recorded sales of instant noodles worth $1.85 billion in 2020, which was a 16% jump from the previous year.


Global instant noodles market is said to climb to $72 billion by the end of 2027 with an annual growth rate exceeding 5%.

The chicken segment is expected to dominate the market because of the protein and carbohydrates it contains.