This class of young people, even the noodles can not afford to buy

The 90-year-old Xiao Lin still remembers the student days saved by the noodles. During college, she often hoarded a few boxes of noodles in the dormitory, usually old pickle flavor, the price is less than five dollars, hungry in the middle of the night, or tired of studying, pick up a pot of hot water to soak a bowl of noodles, “a bucket of noodles down, feeling a day of fatigue can be relieved “.

After graduation, Xiaolin rarely eat noodles, but recently, Xiaolin suddenly found when shopping malls, the original one or two yuan bags of noodles and no more than five yuan barrels of noodles, have been modified and upgraded, the price has also gone up.

This is not an illusion. Today, the supermarket shelves of a variety of buckets of noodles unit price close to ten yuan, more than that, the shelves also appeared on the single price of more than twenty yuan of noodles.

All along, the noodles have played a convenient and convenient to fill up the belly but not healthy role. But in the eat fast and eat well in the convenience of fast food, noodles have an absolute advantage, it is difficult to be replaced. The World Instant Noodle Association has announced that the current global consumption of instant noodles is increasing, and the global consumption of instant noodles in 2020 is 116.56 billion, an increase of 9.53% from the previous year.

But times are different, in the instant food category, there are new instant food players such as snail noodles, self-heating pots, and pre-made dishes. They have a unique taste and a high-end tone, and also better understand young people. These new categories not only appear on this table, and even want to squeeze out the noodles, dominating this table.

In order to recapture the position, some brands choose to increase the amount and price, visible to the naked eye, the price of many noodles now up to ten yuan, some brands have created a new high-end brand line, such as the unity of the Manhan feast a packet to sell to 20 yuan.

In the race track, there are also new brands such as Ramen Say and Yuan Niangniang, which target contemporary young people and try to make kimchi a high-end health product. Can they succeed in upgrading kimchi?

30 yuan a bucket of noodles, understand?

Deep Burn found from the Taobao official flagship store of major instant noodle brands, traditional instant noodle brands are trying to say goodbye to the 5 yuan era.

Take the familiar Master Kong as an example, in which, Master Kong’s Soda Noodle House boiled noodles sold 66 yuan / 4 boxes, Soda Noodle House large meat block noodles sold 113.9 yuan / 6 boxes, equivalent to the price of a box of noodles in more than 15 yuan; in addition, the unified soup Daren extremely flavor Pavilion Golden Soup Beef Ramen 80 yuan / 4 boxes. In particular, the unified Man Han Banquet noodles, the appearance of the palace style design, noodle bowl with a lid, folding chopsticks instead of plastic fork, the price is as high as 179 yuan / 6 bowls, which translates into a bowl of almost 30 yuan.

These high-priced noodles, in addition to the appearance of the article, but also try to work on the raw materials, such as selling expensive noodles will be added to the real meat, and noodle companies will use concentrated, freeze-dried technology to retain the nutritious soup and vegetables, the packaging has also become luxurious.

How did instant noodles suddenly become more expensive?

In fact, for a long time, instant noodle companies have had a hard time. Consumers went to takeout.

Since 2015, the rise of takeaway platforms, Internet companies subsidize users like crazy, a single takeaway subsidies are sold for about ten dollars. Instant noodles and takeaway platforms for consumers overlap extremely high, basically young people, white-collar workers. Consumers found that instead of eating unhealthy instant noodles, it was better to order a takeaway with one click.

In 2016, instant noodle sales hit the bottom, selling only 38.52 billion copies, the lowest sales in the past five years.

And, with more money in their pockets, people want to eat well as well as well as well. In earlier years, the main consumption scenario for noodles was long-distance travel, and people’s needs for noodles were simple – convenient, filling, and preferably priced at no more than $5. But now, high-speed rail and air travel gradually popular, people consume less and less time in the journey, the convenience of noodles has become less attractive to consumers.

In order to save the precarious business, the instant noodle market has to make changes.

At the end of 2018, Master Kong launched a high-end product line Express Speedy Noodle House, with prices positioned at more than 20 yuan; in 2020, the unified launch of the upgraded version of Soup Daren “Extreme Taste House In 2020, the upgraded version of Tang Daren, “Extreme Flavor Hall”, is aimed at the middle and high-end people, while the unified “Man Han Da Dao” series is a bit more expensive.

The price is sold at a high level, and to some extent, it is also considered to save the noodle market. Take Master Kong as an example, the financial report shows that Master Kong’s revenue in 2020 was 67.618 billion yuan, an increase of 9.10%. And this, a large part of the growth in performance by the high-priced bags of noodles to pull. High-priced bags of instant noodles 2020 revenue of 13.066 billion yuan, an increase of 28.12% year-on-year, the growth rate is much higher than the medium-priced bags of instant noodles.

Noodles upgrade, is not a false proposition?

The matter of “price increase” in the overall consumer environment does not seem to be unusual.

Looking at the entire consumer brand circuit in 2021, “selling expensive” has almost become the core line.

In Wuhan, the new store outside of the tea color yue color need to queue for several hours to buy a cup of milk tea priced at 20 several dollars, even because the queue is too hot a cup of milk tea has been queued scalpers increase the price to 300 yuan to 500 yuan.

In April this year, Zhong Xue Gao released two new products with a unit price of 68 yuan and 88 yuan, but it does not affect consumers to squat and grab the goods. Even after the official channels were sold out, scalping prices of up to 200 yuan a box (i.e., one) appeared on e-commerce platforms.

More and more new consumer products emerge, they were once traditional, little story, by the times and young people gradually abandoned categories, such as potato chips, white wine, Chinese pastries …… investors and entrepreneurs picked up these categories, repackaged and upgraded, but also given the “zero sugar and zero fat”

In the view of China food industry analyst Zhu Danpeng, “As consumption continues to upgrade, consumers’ demands for kimchi are also increasing, and young people are less sensitive to the price of kimchi. It is entirely possible to sell kimchi noodles very expensive, even to 50 yuan. “

From another point of view, although today’s instant noodle market has gotten rid of the 5 yuan era, and some brands have even launched 30 yuan bowls of instant noodles, they are still low-priced. Data released by the World Instant Noodle Association shows that although China is the world’s top consumer of instant noodles, the average price of instant noodles in Japan and South Korea is about 13 times and 2.5 times higher than China’s, respectively. From a global perspective, instant noodles in China are considered to be sold cheaply.

Seeing such a market opportunity, some emerging instant noodle brands have started to rise. Ramen Say, founded in 2016, is positioned at the high end, with prices ranging from 43.9 yuan to 57.9 yuan for a three-box set, with prices varying slightly by flavor.

Then there is the instant noodle brand Yuan Niang Niang, which received investment from Qingsong Fund last year. The sudden epidemic has accelerated the rise of new instant noodle brands. Hope Nyonya focuses on turkey noodles, emphasizing its national trendy attributes, targeting young people and trying to take the high-end route.

What kind of noodles do consumers want?

The company’s main goal is to provide the best possible service to its customers. If the taste is not good, then I still buy a strong ah. “

Zhu Danpeng pointed out that consumers now have new requirements for ingredients and taste, the noodle industry must also make changes. For example, to ensure food safety, high-end functionalization of ingredients, to create a high-end brand tone, scene innovation, etc..

In terms of ingredient safety and high-end, there is still a lot of room for improvement in China. For example, Japan’s Nissin Ramen, the brand launched a number of instant ramen, the freshness of its noodles and handmade ramen, and also launched a rice, buckwheat and other raw materials for instant noodles, so that the instant noodles can be healthy and safe enough and nutritious.

“However, it is not that the use of very expensive ingredients, or that the price is very high is high-end instant noodles, the most critical thing is to create a new scene to match the high-end consumers. After all, high-end instant noodles are for different consumer scenarios and people than ordinary instant noodles. The problem now is that there is no new scene to match high-end consumers, which is a system project. “Zhu Dampeng said.

In the high-end new tea education, drinking milk tea has become a pleasing attitude to life, but at the moment, eating instant noodles is still just a helpless choice for working social animals to fill their stomachs.

Kimchi upgrade, the biggest hurdle is actually the cognitive problem. For a long time, noodles are equated with junk food. Although Yao Zhongliang, chairman of White Elephant Foods, painstakingly explained to the public, “In convenience food, it is more nutritious than cookies, cakes and other products, the dietary structure is more reasonable, fat, protein, vitamins, etc. is currently the best inside the convenience food. “But consumers don’t seem to be buying it.

Traditional instant noodles have been sold with the same recipe for 60 years since their inception, and the process of making them can lead to high sodium, carbohydrate and calorie content. This runs counter to young people’s desire for a healthy, nutrient-rich diet.

In terms of the industry as a whole, the market concentration of instant noodles is very high, with data showing that the first place, Master Kong, has 47% of the market share (by sales), the second place, Unity, has 21%, and the third place, Imaro, has 11%, with the top three companies already occupying 80% of the market share.

High market concentration means it is difficult to innovate and breakthrough. These giants control the entire upstream and downstream industry chain, depressing the gross margin space, making it difficult for small and medium-sized brands to survive.

The question of whether or not to create high-end noodles that are unique in taste and popular with young people, and to make innovations in an already extremely mature market, is still in front of the instant noodle industry.

Kimchi noodles and self-help pot, there must be a battle?

A more difficult problem is that once the price of noodles comes up, there are more categories to grab the market.

Lisa, a 90-year-old girl, pointed out that the most expensive noodles she can accept is no more than 20 yuan, at least not more than the price of a takeaway. “If the noodles are too expensive, order a takeaway instead of cost-effective. “

More people put the upper limit of what they can accept at less than 10 yuan. After all, today’s instant noodles have very cheap alternatives, such as the popular brand of snail noodles on the market good cheer snail, 5 bags priced at 60 yuan, which translates into 12 yuan a bag.

“About ten dollars of snail noodles do not smell good? And you say to figure convenient it, now self-heating rice self-heating hot pot is also quite convenient, the price is also more than 20 yuan, noodles are really not competitive. “90-year-old orange confessed.

In fact, because of the epidemic, both dining out and takeaway options have briefly disappeared, forcing people to choose convenience foods. A large number of new fast food brands with unique flavors and rich ingredients have caught fire in response.

For example, back in 2017, hot pot brands such as Haidilao and Xiaolongkan launched self-heating hot pots. But during the epidemic, small self-heating hot pots began to be highly sought after by young people. Instant food brands such as Mo Xiaoxian, Food Nation People and Self-Heating Pot also quickly became known to young people as “Netflix pop-ups”.

Self-heating rice, an extension of the self-heating pot, is also on fire, and new categories of snacks such as snail noodles and hot and sour noodles are also becoming popular, as are pre-made dishes that can be eaten after being heated. The “heat and eat” pre-made dishes also began to appear on young people’s tables. In particular, snail noodles have become the top stream in the convenience fast food sector in recent years. CBNData consumer data shows that in the online convenience fast food consumption category, snail noodles have become the second largest segment other than instant noodles with a growth rate of more than 25 times.

New instant food categories such as snail noodles and self-help pots are alternatives to high-end instant noodles in the eyes of many investors. These young “high end version of kimchi”, the birth time is not long, but enough to understand young people, very clear what young people want, what they want to eat, and flexible enough to play The price can sell up. In the future, they even want to seize the market of kimchi.

But now, kimchi is still the best selling of all instant food, after all, kimchi can be used in a wide range of scenarios and high consumption frequency. This also means that the pond is wide enough for all kinds of fish to survive, giving some segmentation of consumer goods opportunities.

With the popularity of lazy culture, home culture, especially the Z generation of young people growing up as the main consumer, they will bring a new consumption model and consumer thinking, these 90 after 00 consumers will force the whole market to upgrade the change. “Zhu Danpeng said frankly,” we are still long-term optimistic about this track. “