Everybody loves instant noodles. It is convenient, easy-to-cook and tasty at the same time, and thus has become one of Singaporean ultimate comfort food. Due to its busy lifestyle, lack of time and fast-paced life, the consumption of instant noodles in Singapore is relatively high compared to other countries, which makes Singapore arrives in 35th spot in global demand for instant noodles. Today, we will look deeper into Singapore’s instant noodle industry and grasp a thorough understanding of local consumer preference.
Maggi is an old brand that owns by Nestle, which has entered the Singaporean market since the 1920s. Its strong branding has won the hearts of Singaporean and remain as a dish that will make people nostalgic. It is something that people enjoy eating at a very young age. Besides, its powerful “two-minute” advertising campaign has again attracted Singaporean, showing that local consumers are really demanding for a fast and easy-to-cook dish to enjoy. The word of mouth also shows a high discussion regarding the collaboration of Maggi and Kit Kat, which some people find in captivating, but others find it disgusting.
Knowing that Singaporean enjoy instant noodles, they also made their own local brands such as Koka, Myojo and Prima Taste that has successfully made into the top 10 list. There are other competitors coming from different countries such as Indomie (Indonesia), Nissin (Japan), Mamee (Malaysia), Nongshim and Samyang (Korea) and Mama (Thailand). By seeing the above graph, we could see that it is quite a competitive market to enter.
Although Maggi earned the first place in terms of word of mouth, Koka’s laksa flavor has captured the hearts of Singaporeans. Laksa is a dish originated from Southeast Asia, and it is highly well-loved in Singapore. The creaminess, richness and mild spiciness of the coconut curry makes the soup tastes extraordinary, thus laksa becomes a must-have flavor collection for instant noodles brands. The original and authentic taste of Maggi Curry comes in the second place and followed by another flavor from Koka brand, the black pepper.
It is interesting to know that Korean and Japanese instant noodles is not performing great in Singapore market. Seeing the top 10 products, we could clearly see local preferences of having a rich taste of Southeast Asian seasoning such as laksa, curry and tom yum.
The above graph shows the average response for the top 10 brands with Koka earning the first place for an average of 5.21 per article. Its signature flavors such as laksa, curry and black pepper attract many responses from the internet users, which illustrates its successful localization strategy. They clearly understand which flavor will be welcomed by local people. It is then followed by Thai and Japanese national brand, Mamee and Myojo with 2.61 and 2.29 response rate respectively.
The above graph shows the distribution of word of mouth (WOM) resources which are scattered in different types of channel: Forum, social media (FB, IG, YouTube) and news. It clearly shows that almost 90% of the WOM comes from forum channels. The “Eat” segment in Hardware Zone Forum placed the first rank by earning 2,565 WOM, which create a huge gap with other channels.
Seeing the top 10 hot discussion topics, Maggi earned 7 seats of the list, however, Koka earned the first place by earning the most responses. The discussion is due to Koka offers a healthier option for instant noodle lovers by not adding any MSG, preservatives and colouring, but can double the flavor. It is also higher in whole grains and lowers in fat and sodium, which is good news for daily consumers. While on the other hand, the second top discussion is about people joking that you can get cancer if you consume Maggi two times every day. This shows how frequent Singaporean could consume Maggi instant noodle.
When it comes to instant noodles, price is not the main consideration, flavour is. Laksa is the most-mentioned flavor in the industry, quickly followed by curry, fish and tom yum. Flavour selection is an important element for brands to consider about since every country has a distinct preference of taste. Besides, the word NTUC is also popular among internet users. NTUC is a parent company of Singapore’s largest supermarket chain, FairPrice. It is highly-mentioned by internet users due to many people stocking up during this pandemic, and they are asking which store still has Maggi packs. Last but not least, for Singaporean, instant noodle is popularly consumed at home during the night.