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Instant noodle market marks record-high sales of W1.13tr in H1

Aug. 20, 2020 - 16:55 By Jo He-rim

The instant noodle market recorded all-time high sales of 1.13 trillion won ($952.2 million) in the first half of this year, largely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, data showed Thursday.

Releasing the data from Nielsen Korea, Nongshim, a South Korean food company, said the industry grew 7.2 percent from the same period last year, with its highest-ever semiannual sales. According to the data, sales of instant noodles in the first half of 2019 amounted to 1.05 trillion won, and annual sales totaled 2.08 trillion won.

“Such a sharp growth of the instant noodle industry, which edges along 2 trillion won in sales annually, proves the characteristic of instant noodles -- that it is a strong product in times of crisis,” Nongshim said.

As people spend more time at home to avoid contracting COVID-19, Nongshim said it witnessed an increase in sales of bagged instant noodles, while the sales of cup noodles decreased -- running counter to the previous growth patterns.

Sales of cup noodles in the industry had been growing annually, steadily increasing their market share from 33.2 percent in 2016 to 37.5 percent last year. In the first half of this year, however, the market share of cup noodles dropped to 34.3 percent as COVID-19 tied people to their homes, Nongshim said.

The spread of noncontact consumption patterns has also led more people to buy instant noodles online. As for Nongshim, the company said its sales from online channels have doubled from last year to about 40 billion won in the first half of this year.

By Jo He-rim (