Vietnam is the world's fourth-largest consumer of instant noodles, purchasing roughly 5.4 billion packets yearly, according to the latest report of the World Instant Noodles Association (WINA).

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 packets.

Vietnam's instant noodle consumption has grown at a consistent double-digit rate and demand continues to rise in both urban and rural areas. In Vietnam, the demand increased by nearly 24 percent in 2008-12 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.

According to statistics from the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Vietnam is home to around 50 domestic and foreign-owned instant noodle producers and manufacturers, with a combined yearly output of nearly 50 billion packets.

Major companies such as Vina Acecook and Asia Foods dominate Vietnam's instant-noodle market. Vina Acecook currently claims 50 percent of the market share, followed by Asia Foods with more than 20 percent and Masan with approximately 10 percent.

Smaller businesses own the remaining 20 percent.

The food processing industry provides a wide range of instant products, including vermicelli, rice paper, and plain rice soup. Supermarket instant noodle prices range from 2,500 VND to tens of thousands of dong per packet.

The Vietnamese food processing industry exports its instant products to the United States, Australia, France and Germany. Canada and Eastern European markets of the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary also provide a market for these products.-VNA