Sales of instant noodles fell by 8 billion packages from 2013 to 2016, resulting from the rapid growth of online meal ordering services in China, according to the World Instant Noodles Association.
Before 2011, instant noodles sales in China maintained double-digit growth for 18 consecutive years, reaching 46.22 billion in 2013. Since then, sales started to decline year after year, dropping to 38.52 billion in 2016, a decrease of as much as 16.66 percent.
Compared with instant noodles, online meal ordering has become an increasingly popular choice for Chinese. In recent years, China's online meal ordering market has achieved dramatic growth.
Data suggest China's online meal ordering market increased from 21.68 billion yuan (.3 billion) to 166.24 billion yuan from 2011 to 2016, an increase of nearly eight times in six years, and it is expected to exceed 200 billion yuan in 2017.
The flop of the instant noodle market and the rise of online meal ordering reflect rapid changes in people's consumption patterns.
Online meal ordering services featuring convenience, quickness and diversified choices are replacing the core competitiveness of instant noodles, according to Wang Yaohong, former vice-CEO of Baidu Waimai.
Baidu Waimai, a food delivery unit of internet search company Baidu Inc, was acquired by Ele.me, which is backed by Alibaba Group Holding, for 4.2 billion yuan in August.