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Vietnam outpaces S. Korea in instant noodle consumption

Instant noodles are stacked on shelves at a convenient store in Seoul, June 13. (Yonhap)
Instant noodles are stacked on shelves at a convenient store in Seoul, June 13. (Yonhap)
Vietnam outpaced South Korea in terms of instant noodle consumption per capita, on the Southeast Asian country’s growing purchasing power and economic growth rate, data showed Thursday.

According to Nongshim, a leading ramyeon maker in South Korea, the average Vietnamese eats about 87 servings a year while the average South Korean has 73 servings, citing 2021 data from the World Instant Noodles Association. Nepal was in third place with 55 servings per person a year.

Korea topped the world from 2013 to 2020. The tally was 75 servings in 2019, rising to 80 in 2020, but falling back down to 73 in 2021.

The figure for Vietnam, meanwhile, has steadily increased from 55 in 2019, to 72 in 2020, and to 87 in 2021.

Vietnam’s instant noodle market is growing rapidly, from $5 billion in 2019 to $8.6 billion in 2021, reaching third in market size, following China and Indonesia.

“Vietnam has a high purchasing power with its increasing economic growth rate. Also, people tend to eat at home rather than dining out due to COVID-19,” said a Nongshim official.

By Hwang Dong-Hee (hwangdh@heraldcorp.com)
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