United Kingdom noodles market: 12% value growth during 2012

Press Release   •   Feb 19, 2013 17:02 GMT

In 2012 Unilever Foods UK Ltd's Pot Noodle was not only the largest brand in the United Kingdom noodles market but also continued to drive growth in the category as a whole, with an impressive value sales increase of 19%. Pot Noodle, with its relatively low price, benefited from the recession that pushed consumers to search for cheap meal or snack options. Moreover, thanks to the success of Pot Noodles GTi, a premium microwavable cup instant noodles variant that contains real pieces of meat launched in 2010, brand owner Unilever Foods UK Ltd expanded even further its value share.

The instant noodles category's upward growth in 2012 reflects its on-going appeal to recession-hit consumers. Products in the instant noodles category meet the growing demand amongst consumers for convenient food, with the core audience including young males in search of a quick and cheap meal solution. The convenience aspect of the product is key in helping to drive growth and with more flavours and formats being introduced, prices have seen a rise.

Overall, the noodles category is expected to achieve a constant value CAGR of 11% over the forecast period, driven by the positive performance of instant noodles. The weak economic performance that is forecast for the UK is unlikely to dramatically change consumer behaviour, with price-conscious locals still opting for convenience but with greater authenticity.

Key Headlines

- Noodles value sales grow by 12% and volume sales by 2% in 2012
- While the instant noodles category experiences strong growth, plain noodles sees continued decline
- Cups/bowl instant noodles experiences the fastest growth, at 16% in value terms
- The unit price of noodles increases due to the premiumisation trend and rising commodity prices
- Unilever Foods UK Ltd's Pot Noodle is the leading brand in noodles and is driving value growth
- The noodles category is expected to continue its upward trend in the forecast period, boosted further by premiumisation and increased demand for convenient food

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