Instant noodle sales top 100 billion units a year

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TOKYO — Global sales of instant noodles have topped 100 billion units annually, an industry group said Friday — more than one monthly serving of the portable meal for every person on the planet.

Five decades after the easy-to-cook food’s launch, sales climbed again last year with China, Indonesia and Japan rounding out the world’s top-three consumers, according to the Japan-based World Instant Noodles Association.

“The results show that instant noodles have become a global standard dish,” said Norio Sakurai, an official with the Osaka-based association.

“We think global sales will continue growing particularly in some developing nations.”

Of the 101.4 billion units sold worldwide last year, China, including Hong Kong, accounted for 44.0 billion servings, followed by Indonesia with 14.1 billion units, Japan at 5.4 billion units and Vietnam close behind with 5.1 billion units.

Instant noodles, which come dried or pre-cooked and can be boiled quickly with accompanying flavour packets, were invented in Japan by Momofuku Ando, founder of major noodle maker Nissin Foods, in 1958.

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