Takeaki Kadoma (right), director of Hokuseisha Vietnam Trading Company, introduces Japanese instant noodles to a customer at a mall specializing in Japanese products in HCMC’s District 1. Photo by VnExpress/Thi Ha
With Japanese dried noodles becoming increasingly popular in Vietnam, their sales are growing in double digits.
Hoang, manager of a Japanese restaurant chain in HCMC’s District 1, said seven out of every 10 customers order udon or ramen noodles.
"The volume of Japanese noodles we import increases by around 20 percent from the previous time."
A representative of Phan Thanh Akuruhi Company, an exclusive importer of many Japanese dried noodle varieties, told VnExpress that in the last two years the demand for the products in Vietnam has grown in double digits.
"We imported more than five tons of noodles in 2021, up 20 percent from 2020. Demand in early January 2022 was up 15 percent from the same period last year."
The company expects sales to continue rising sharply in the coming years because of the increasing numbers of Vietnamese eating Japanese food and Japanese expatriates in Vietnam. Over 22,000 Japanese live in the country now.
After surveying the Vietnamese market for nearly two years, the Japan Noodles Association and Hokuseisha Vietnam Trading Company said demand for Japanese instant noodles is as high as in Japan.
The former has joined hands with 10 Japanese businesses to showcase 27 special products at the ongoing Japanese dry noodles fair on Tran Quang Khai Street in HCMC’s District 1, which would go on until the Lunar New Year in early February, its representative and the company’s director, Takeaki Kadoma, said.
"We expect the amount of Japanese noodles sold in Vietnam to be similar to that in Thailand".
He said the association’s members exported 1,330 tons of dried noodles in 2020, and the volume is expected to reach 2,000 tons by 2025.
"The prices of Japanese noodles are higher than many other kinds in Vietnam. But we hope the current import tax rate of zero percent will provide a competitive advantage".
According to the World Instant Noodles Association, Vietnam ranked third globally in instant noodle consumption in 2020 after a 29.47 percent increase.
On a per capita basis, Vietnam was second in the world with more than 72 packages a year, just behind South Korea and one and a half times that of Thailand, Japan, Indonesia, and the Philippines, twice as much as China’s and three times the U.S.’s.
Vietnam is home to some 50 local and foreign instant noodle producers.