The Globe’s Peter Day reports that Ramen is once again the biggest seller of packaged food in Canada, with sales rising 6 per cent this year over last.
The noodle company has been the big winner of the Canadian market, which includes sales of noodles from Canada Post, Costco and many supermarkets.
The biggest beneficiary has been ramen.
While the company sold just 5.4 million kilograms of noodles in 2013, the total amount spent on the product increased by about 30 per cent in 2014.
The company’s sales increased 6.7 per cent to $5.1 billion last year, and the average price of a bag of noodles increased almost 50 per cent since 2007.
And this is only for noodles.
Other foods like cheese, fruit, beef and vegetables have also been growing.
“The growth in Ramen has been fantastic,” said Mark Gillett, the company’s chief executive officer.
“As far as we’re concerned, Ramen and other fast food brands have done great business in Canada.”
Ramen products are available at many Canadian grocery stores and online.
For example, the store in Quebec City that sells ramen has expanded its menu to include pork, beef, chicken, turkey, fish and vegetables, as well as chicken-based soups and sauces.
The new menu includes more than 80 items, including chicken, beef tenderloin, turkey and lamb, which is about one-third of the overall menu.
Gilleatt says the growth in ramen is because people are eating more protein-rich, fresh ramen instead of packaged Chinese noodles.
“When people get that protein-packed, healthy, fresh product, they are going to want more of it,” he said.
He also says Ramen brands are now more popular in the United States, which has had its own outbreaks of coronavirus.
“I’m glad that the US is the one country that we have actually been able to see the success of this,” he added.
Gilett says he hopes to expand the company in the U.S. to include beef, pork, chicken and turkey.
“We want to have ramen everywhere we can, but we’re going to have to be creative to do it,” Gilleott said.
In addition to the Canadian ramen, the United Kingdom is also the biggest Ramen buyer in the world, buying 7.2 million kilograms in 2014, up from 4.2 in 2013.
The country has also seen a strong growth in sales of frozen food like lasagna, lasagna noodles and pizza, but the company says its growth is more about sales of packaged foods.
“Our sales are up, and that’s why we have a lot of money invested in our packaged food business,” Gileatt said.
For the first time in Canada’s history, Raman Ramen was also the No. 1 seller of noodles.
But the company still doesn’t sell any noodles in the US, although it is now the No 1 seller there.
Gilbert says that while he hopes Canada will eventually be able to reach a deal with the US and China to open up its markets, it is too early to say whether this will happen.
“It is going to take time to see if they can really agree to allow us to open our markets in the States and Canada,” he told Day.
“That’s a big deal.”