Instant noodles, once an easy meal for millions of Chinese workers, is getting less popular. Workers scrapping instant noodles are seen as a symbol of the chaining lifestyle of the working class. The sales of instant noodles fell 12.5 percent last year. The King of noodles in China, Taiwanese Tingyi, known for its brand Master Kong (Kong Shifu), was evicted from the Hang Seng Index on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong in September. Its profits declined by 60 percent last year. According to Bloomberg, this is a classic example of the economic and demographic transition in China.
Between 2003 and 2008, the instant noodle market has exploded in China, from $ 35 billion to 59 billion yuan ($ 4.7 billion to EUR 7.9 billion). At the time, Chinese growth exceeded 10% of the average (14.2% in 2007). The industry flourished with the boom of construction, heavy industry, and the low-end factories, which needed cheap labor. The coast provinces attracted millions of migrant workers, who relied on these convenient meals.
Unfortunately for the noodle industry, China has developed. Today, the 25 cents noodle is less exciting. Because of the policy of one-child, the Chinese population of working age began to decline in 2010. And by 2015, for the first time in 30 years, the population of migrants has declined, after having exceeded 250 million.