Uni-President's (UP) arch rival Master Kong (MK) is no longer its greatest threat in China. Both are Taiwanese food brands and while UP is the leader in Taiwan, MK has been winning the game in the mainland.
Cheap and convenient. Instant noodles were supposed to be the recession-proof product.
Since 2017 the instant noodle market declined sharply. And much of it is because of the Waimai (food delivery) industry.
Instant noodles used to be what people ate when they didn't want to cook.
But today people have higher disposable income and an appetite for a variety of choices.
While most of the world was suffering from COVID, China recovered fast and people are willing to spend more money for better food. Waimais can arrive at your doorstep within the time it takes you to get off the couch and cook instant noodles.
This shift in consumer behavior has forced UP and MK to go for a completely new strategy.
Gourmet instant noodles priced 6x the regular prices. And it has proven to be a success. Both MK and UP have seen these high end products take up 30-44% of their total instant noodles revenue in 2020.
Do you see this as a long term solution?