What are the driving factors of growth in the Instant Noodles Market in India?
Instant noodles have finally hit the Indian market and how. India is now the fourth-largest instant noodles market in the world. Instant noodles are a type of pre-cooked noodles, originally of Japan, usually sold in packets, cups or bowls. Various ingredients like flour, salt, palm oil seasoning and monosodium glutamate (MSG) are used in the process of making it. With increasing consumer acceptance, an instant-noodles market is now a lucrative option for various big brands in the business.
Even though instant noodles have never been part of the Indian traditional diet, the instant noodles market in India has been showing consistent growth over the years. With the changing lifestyles and the increasing working population, the consumers are getting more inclined towards ready to eat packaged foods. The high growth trajectory of the instant noodles market can be contributed to its easy availability, affordability and the convenience of minimal cooking time. Also, factors like high shelf life and smart marketing by the players have further stimulated the growth of the market. Instant noodles have become a favourite snack in recent times among consumers and are being consumed across all the age groups. Previously, it had been used as a home snack, but with the passing time, it is increasingly being consumed at colleges and workplaces as well.
The players in the market are trying to bring in innovation and variety in the instant-noodles market to cater to the changing tastes of the consumer. Instant noodles are now made available with a wide range of flavours along with a vegetarian and non-vegetarian variant. The brands have also played with the packaging of the instant noodles making it available for an individual or providing the consumers with a family pack. These marketing strategies have also upped the growth factor of the market.
There has been a buzz about instant noodles not being healthy; and to address this concern, various brands have come up with the vegetable, atta, multigrain or oats variants to make it appear healthier to the consumers. The instant noodles are now being promoted as having a higher nutritional value to make it more appealing to the consumers. Some types of instant noodles are enriched with added vitamin and minerals and consumption of instant noodles may be associated with a higher intake of riboflavin and thiamine among consumers.
The growth of the organized food retail sector, the increasing number of supermarkets and departmental stores are also affecting the sales of the instant noodles. Furthermore, with the penetration of the internet, the digital divide is collapsing between the rural and urban India, which is ensuring that the consumers all over are exposed to the same ads. This has been serving as a brand equaliser for the players in the market. Thus, this, in turn, is exposing the rural sector to the instant noodle market, thereby promoting its growth.
Due to the expanding youth population, increasing disposable income, changing consumer preferences and certainly enhanced brand consciousness among consumers, the instant noodles market in India is experiencing a meteoric rise.