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Asian Noodles: U.S. Market Trends and Opportunities

  • December 2015
  • -
  • Packaged Facts
  • -
  • 109 pages

Asian Noodles: Trends & Opportunities assesses how food and foodservice industry participants are adding'and can add'to product development and marketing strategies of Asian noodles. Four primary themes emerge: variety, healthfulness, authenticity, and innovation. With respect to each of these themes, this report trends related consumer preferences and attitudes over time; ties each theme to pertinent foodservice (restaurant and prepared foods) menu trends supported by a wealth of examples; assesses related foodservice marketing strategies; and identities implications and applications for the packaged groceries segment of the market.

In doing so, the report addresses a wide range of noodle trends and opportunities. Primary data sources include metrics from our consumer surveys and from menu item analysis, as well as hundreds of menu item examples and related visual images. By section:

The report begins with an overview of foodservice and food retail noodle usage in the past 30 days, including at-home usage and restaurant usage. We also analyze usage by demographic, provide comparisons between Asian noodle usage and Italian noodle usage to provide context as well as shedding light on noodle knowledge and attributes desired.

In the Variety section, we analyze consumer attitudes toward variety in Asian noodle dishes as reflected by the nuances of ingredients, shape, texture, preparation, and culinary application. We also assess variety on the menu with consideration of these same attributes, and highlight a restaurant operator that is leveraging variety via customization. Finally, we present implications and applications for the grocery aisle, focusing on how packaged goods marketers are increasing variety of Asian noodles for at-home consumption by leveraging convenience attributes (time/speed and package size) as well as flavor expansion. By doing so, these companies and brands are better positioned to compete against mainstream Asian takeout.

In the Healthfulness section, we trend and analyze consumer attitudes toward health and diet, and provide applications to the Asian noodle market with a focus on health attributes that prove to be a decision influencer. We also assess health on the menu with consideration of these same attributes with the understanding that Asian noodle dishes strike a strong alignment as being inherently healthy, and in most cases, positive health associations are simply a secondary benefit. In addition, we highlight a restaurant operator that is successfully applying health to its Asian-focused menu. Finally, we present implications and applications for the grocery aisle, focusing on how health and wellness trends are causing some consumers to eschew heavily processed foods, carbs and gluten'making the category vulnerable to stagnant sales.

In the Authenticity section, we trend and analyze consumer attitudes toward willingness to try new foods/recipes. Then, we provide applications to the Asian noodle market with a focus on the impact of authenticity, and more specifically heritage/culture of noodles, as a decision influencer'both at home and at restaurants. We also assess authenticity on the menu with consideration of these same attributes with the understanding that Asian noodle dishes at restaurants are often the first exposure many Americans have to this cuisine. In addition, we highlight a restaurant operator that has had success mainstreaming Asian cuisine from an authentic position. Finally, we present implications and applications for the grocery aisle, focusing on how authenticity becomes an important distinction for differentiation in the competitive package noodle category.

In the Innovation section, we trend and analyze consumer attitudes related to innovation'whether on the menu or in marketing. We begin by assessing overall attitudes relating to culinary experiences and food adventurousness. In addition, we explore culinary innovation with consideration to noodle crossing boundaries. We also consider innovation as it applies to marketing strategies and leveraging online and social media as applied by leading Asian-centric chains. Finally, we present implications and applications for the grocery aisle.

Table Of Contents

Asian Noodles: U.S. Market Trends and Opportunities
Chapter 1: Executive Summary
Report Scope
Report Summary
Introduction
Asian noodle usage
Asian versus Italian noodles
Noodle knowledge
Implications for menu developers and packaged noodle marketers
Noodles on the menu
Important attributes in Asian noodles
Variety
Variety: attributes that influence choice
Noodle variety on the menu
Moving beyond the generic noodle� term
Shape and texture increase noodle variety
Noodle variety across the menu
Applying variety to the menu: ShopHouse Kitchen
Implications and applications for packaged groceries
Healthfulness
Healthfulness: attitudes toward food and diet
Healthful attributes sought in noodles
Health by subtraction
Health by addition
Organic/natural claims
The gluten connection
Healthy noodle dishes on the menu
Healthy noodle types
Growth in more unique veggies
Healthy proteins are most often menued in Asian noodle dishes
Healthful noodle dish preparation methods
Applying health to the menu: Noodles and Company World Kitchen
Implications and applications for packaged groceries
Authenticity
Authenticity: Attitudes toward noodle dishes
Authentic attributes sought in noodles
Authenticity on the menu
Asian noodles have modest penetration on restaurant menus
Asian restaurants utilize noodles from several countries of origin
Midscale restaurants have highest penetration for Asian noodles
Chinese noodles and noodle dishes
Japanese noodles and noodle dishes
Thai noodles and noodle dishes
Applying authenticity to the menu: P.F. Chang's
Implications and applications for packaged groceries
Innovation
Innovation: Attitudes toward culinary experiences
Relationship to Asian noodle usage
Relationship to Asian noodle knowledge
Culinary attributes sought in noodles
Innovation: Noodles crossing boundaries
Innovation: Marketing strategies
Implications and applications for packaged groceries
Chapter 2: Introduction
Asian noodle usage
Table 2-1: Asian Noodle Dish Eaten in Past 30 Days, by Demographic, 2015
Asian versus Italian noodles: at a restaurant
Table 2-2: Noodle Dish Eaten in Past 30 Days at a Restaurant: Asian vs. Italian, by Demographic, 2015
Asian versus Italian noodles: at home
Table 2-3: Noodle Dish Eaten in Past 30 Days at Home: Asian vs. Italian, by Demographic, 2015
Noodle knowledge
Graph 2-1: Asian Noodles and Noodle Dishes, Degree of Knowledge, 2015
Implications for menu developers
Implications for packaged noodles
Noodles on the menu
Introduction
Asian noodles versus Italian noodles
Table 2-4: Penetration of Asian and Italian Noodles on U.S. Menus, 2010 vs. 2014
Table 2-4: Incidence of Asian and Italian Noodles on U.S. Menus, 2010 vs. 2014
Important attributes in Asian noodles
Influencers when ordering at restaurants
Graph 2-2: Attributes Important to Choosing an Asian Noodle Dish on the Menu, 2015
Influencers when shopping the grocery aisle
Graph 2-3: Attributes Important to Choosing Asian Noodles at the Grocery Store, 2015
Chapter 3: Variety
Variety: attributes that influence choice
Variety via ingredients
Table 3-1: Attributes Important to Choosing an Asian Noodle Dish on the Menu: Ingredients,by Demographic, 2015
Variety via preparation method/style
Table 3-2: Attributes Important to Choosing an Asian Noodle Dish on the Menu: Preparation Method,Vegetarian and Vegan, by Demographic, 2015
Variety via customization
Table 3-3: Attributes Important to Choosing an Asian Noodle Dish on the Menu: Customization and Familiarity, by Demographic, 2015
Noodle variety on the menu
Moving beyond the generic noodle� term
Table 3-4: Top Asian Noodle Dishes Served as Menu Entres, 2014
Shape and texture increase noodle variety
Table 3-5: Asian Noodle Dishes: Shapes and Sizes, 2010-2014
Noodle variety across the menu
Table 3-6: Asian Noodles in Pasta/Noodle Entres and Soup/Salads, 2014
Applying variety to the menu: ShopHouse Kitchen
Implications and applications for packaged groceries
Expansion in variety through convenience and flavor innovation
Quick prep and on-the-go convenience
Robust flavor offerings with development of spicy profiles
Chapter 4: Healthfulness
Healthfulness: attitudes toward food and diet
Table 4-1: Health, Food and Diet Attitudes, Any Agree and Strongly Agree, 2005-2015
Healthful attributes sought in noodles
Graph 4-1: Health Attributes Important in Asian Noodles, 2015
Health by subtraction
Table 4-2: Health Attributes Important in Asian Noodles, Low-/No- Claims, by Demographic, 2015
Health by addition
Table 4-3: Health Attributes Important in Asian Noodles, Added Protein, Fiber and Nutrients,by Demographic, 2015
Organic/natural claims
Table 4-4: Health Attributes Important in Asian Noodles, Organic and Natural, by Demographic, 2015
The gluten connection
Simmons: Presently watching diet?
Table 4-5: Percent of Adults Currently Watching Their Diets, 2015
Simmons: Reason for watching diet
Table 4-6: Reason for Watching Diet, 2015
Simmons: Types of foods bought when watching diet
Table 4-7: Types of Food Bought When Watching Diet, 2015
Implications
Healthy noodle dishes on the menu
Healthy noodle types
Table 4-8: Top Asian Noodle Dish Healthy Terms, 2010-2014
Growth in more unique veggies
Table 4-9: Top 25 Vegetables Served with Asian Noodle Dishes, 2010-2014
Healthy proteins are most often menued in Asian noodle dishes
Table 4-10: Top 15 Proteins Served with Asian Noodle Dishes, 2010-2014
Healthful noodle dish preparation methods
Table 4-11: Asian Noodle Dishes, Top Preparation Methods, 2010-2014
Applying health to the menu: Noodles and Company World Kitchen
Implications and applications for packaged groceries
Packaged noodles can capture healthy halo
Chapter 5: Authenticity
Authenticity: Attitudes toward noodle dishes
Graph 5-1: I Like Trying New Foods Products and New Recipes: Strongly Agree and Any Agree, 2006-2015
Authentic attributes sought in noodles
Table 5-1: Importance of Authenticity and Heritage when Eating Asian Noodles: At Restaurant vs. At Home, 2015
Authenticity on the menu
Asian noodles have modest penetration on restaurant menus
Table 5-2: Noodle Dish Menu Penetration, by Noodle Country of Origin, 2014
Asian restaurants utilize noodles from several countries of origin
Table 5-3: Noodle Dish Menu Penetration, by Noodle Country of Origin and Primary Menu Cuisine, 2014
Midscale restaurants have highest penetration for Asian noodles
Table 5-4: Noodle Dish Menu Penetration, by Noodle Country of Origin and Restaurant Segment, 2014
Chinese noodles and noodle dishes
Table 5-5: Top Chinese Noodle Dishes, 2010-2014
Japanese noodles and noodle dishes
Table 5-6: Top Japanese Noodle Dishes, 2010-2014
Thai noodles and noodle dishes
Table 5-7: Top Thai Noodle Dishes, 2010-2014
Applying authenticity to the menu: P.F. Chang's
Implications and applications for packaged groceries
Packaged noodles leverage authenticity
Chapter 6: Innovation
Innovation: Attitudes toward culinary experiences
Graph 6-1: Culinary Innovation Attitudes, Mean Responses, 2015
Relationship to Asian noodle usage
Table 6-1: Food Adventurousness, by Asian Noodle Usage at Home and at Restaurants, 2015
Relationship to Asian noodle knowledge
Table 6-2: Food Adventurousness, by Degree of Asian Noodle Knowledge, 2015
Culinary attributes sought in noodles
Table 6-3: Attributes Important to Choosing an Asian Noodle Dish on the Menu: Seasonal Ingredients,Flavor, Spices and Preparation Method, by Demographic, 2015
Innovation: Noodles crossing boundaries
Asian noodles crossing into the mainstream
Table 6-4: Restaurants Serving Asian Noodle Dishes, by Primary Restaurant Cuisine, 2014
Italian noodles crossing into Asian cuisine
Table 6-5: Restaurants Serving Italian Noodle Dishes, by Primary Restaurant Cuisine, 2014
Innovation: Marketing strategies
Limited service: Panda Express
Table 6-6: Panda Express vs. Any Fast Food Restaurant Usage, by Demographic, 2015
Full-service: P.F. Chang's China Bistro
Table 6-7: P.F. Chang's China Bistro vs. Any Full-Service Restaurant Usage, by Demographic, 2015
Implications and applications for packaged groceries
Setting the stage: Leading packaged brands struggle over time
Table 6-8: Maruchan Instant Lunch and Nissin Dry Soups: Household Usage in Past 7 Days, 2006- 2015
Table 6-9: Maruchan Instant Lunch and Nissin Dry Soups: Household Usage in Past 7 Days,by Demographic, 2015
The popularity of the bowl
Appendix
Methodology
Consumer survey methodology
Report table interpretation
Color coding
Indexing
Terms and definitions
Noodles
Appendix: Table 1: Asian and Italian Noodles, by Search Term, 2015
Supermarkets
Restaurant categories
Limited-service restaurant definitions
Full-service restaurant definitions
Other definitions

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