In spite of the heavy competition between 50 domestic and foreign-owned instant noodles producers and manufacturers, Vietnam'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 Vietnam 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 the Republic of 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.

Vietnam'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 Vietnam, the demand increased by nearly 24 percent between 2008 and 2012, while the rate stood at 3 percent in China and Indonesia and 5 percent in the Republic of Korea and Japan for the same period.-VNA