‘New products almost every day’: Nissin taps NPD and premium branding to hit triple growth target

By Pearly Neo contact

- Last updated on GMT

Cup noodle giant Nissin aims to expand its business in Asia (excluding China) by over three times to US$ 213mn (JPY 24.1bn) in FY 2021 by focusing on a variety of areas including product development and premium branding. ©Nissin
Cup noodle giant Nissin aims to expand its business in Asia (excluding China) by over three times to US$ 213mn (JPY 24.1bn) in FY 2021 by focusing on a variety of areas including product development and premium branding. ©Nissin

Related tags: Nissin, Instant noodles, Npd, Premium brands

Cup noodle giant Nissin aims to expand its business in Asia (excluding China) by over three times to US$ 213mn (JPY 24.1bn) in FY 2021 by focusing on a variety of areas including product development and premium branding.

Nissin spokesman Daisuke Okabayashi, Manager, Corporate Communications, Nissin Foods Holdings told FoodNavigator-Asia​: “[To do this], we are accelerating sales of our leading brand, CUP NOODLES, in each subsidiary in Asian countries.”

“The target audience of our CUP NOODLES in overseas is the young people with a certain standard of living. We are approaching to that target market by developing new design and flavors, and by conducting effecting promotions for them, such as web marketing and SNS.”

“Nissin launches new products almost every day. In fact, Nissin Japan launched more than 350 new products only in the Japanese market last year,”​ he added.

The company has also set a target of US$ 8.9bn (JPY 1tn) as a whole in global market capitalisation across five years starting FY2017.

Growth strategies

Premiumisation is amongst Nissin’s medium-term plans to accelerate growth.

“[We] intend to improve profitability by accelerating overseas expansion of our leading brand, CUP NOODLES, as a high value-added product,”​ said Okabayashi.

“[This will] make the most of our strengths as a company.”

“[Additionally, we aim to increase] the number of units sold overseas by 50%.”

Apart from this, Nissin is also looking to expand the business beyond an instant noodle focus in both local and foreign markets.

The company terms this as a ‘second pillar that generates revenue and profit’​.

“Besides instant noodles, Nissin is developing confectionary and breakfast cereal business into a second primary revenue and profit source, both in Japan and overseas,” ​said Okabayashi.

“We are also aiming to increase profit growth domestically in the business of chilled and frozen foods, and beverages.”

In keeping with local consumer demands and needs though, Nissin wants to also strengthen its domestic base in Japan.

“To be a ‘century brand company’, we need lay stronger foundations in Japan,”​ he said.

“Population in Japan is gradually declining, and the society is aging. Under the circumstances, Nissin in Japan tapped into the senior market with some new products, besides its core consumer base of youths.”

He added that current priority locations for the company are Brazil, Russia, India and China, based on business opportunities and a rapidly growing middle-income class.

New offerings and resources

Among Nissin’s many new offerings, one that is most in keeping with current healthy, low-salt, low-fat, low-calorie trends is its Cup Noodles Nice series.

“Nissin Japan launched the Cup Noodles Nice series in 2017. It offers a stronger taste and thicker soup than the original Cup Noodle products yet contain fewer calories (176 kcal), 50% less fat and 40% fewer sugar,”​ said Okabayashi.

“The noodles are [also healthier], newly developed [to be] not fried and include a lot of fibre.”

Coming up soon is a new state-of-the-art plant to meet rising consumer demand, to be constructed in Japan’s Shiga prefecture.

According to Okabayashi: This next-generation smart factory will improve product safety and cost competitiveness through the use of IoT and state-of-the-art machinery developed by [our] own research and development centre.”

The plant is scheduled for completion in December 2019.

Instant noodles global numbers and trends

A recent report revealed that the world saw a downturn in the instant noodle market over the last few years, before seeing a slight comeback in 2017​.

“The main reason of the downturn of the global demand of instant noodles [was] declining demand in China,”​ explained Okabayashi.

“More and more Chinese people started using food-delivering services through smartphones.”

“However, instant noodle manufacturers including Nissin started introducing high value-added premium product line in the market, and it goes well recently (sic).”

As with many other food categories in the industry, trends in the instant noodle market are also veering towards sustainability and healthy eating.

According to Okabayashi: “Recently, more and more consumers are aware of the environmental issues and are also conscious about the nutritious benefit on foods.”

“[As such, we have added] the values of “nutritiousness” and “eco-sustainability” to the five key development principles for instant noodles developed by Momofuku Ando, founder of Nissin Foods.”

The original five principles laid out by Ando some 60 years ago were delicious taste, safety, convenience, preservability, and affordability.

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