Malaysian instant noodles are trying to penetrate China’s large instant noodle market but taste if often the key barrier in achieving mainstream appeal. In Southeast Asia, we tend to see instant noodle companies tapping into regional tastes for their premium line such as tom yum, kimchi and laksa. But this is seldom the case in China where the interest is all about local flavours plus Korean.
One interesting thing about the latest Tingyi’s Master Kong black pepper beef noodle and white pepper pork rib noodle is the use of Malaysian peppers. The use of the Malaysian pepper ingredient serves to provide provenance, an important marketing tool to improve quality perception.
The marketing is supported by a trip to Malaysia to discover the origin to the pepper.
1 million boxes sold in one month
Tingyi said in its Q1 2016 earnings report it sold 1 million boxes of Master Kong black pepper beef noodle and white pepper pork rib noodle within one month. The pepper series were launched during the Spring Festival in 2016. It claims the ‘pepper flavor series detonated the domestic market instantly.’
From an ingredient perceptive, the Malaysian Pepper Board would be extremely happy to see the wider use of pepper within food and drinks. Even though Malaysian distinctive flavours such as laksa and prawn noodle have not made it big in China, at least pepper is a good start.