Reaching for that packet of instant noodles after a hard day?
You are not alone.
Sales of instant noodles have been rising year on year, say several supermarkets The New Paper spoke to.
A report by global marketing research firm Nielsen showed that there was a 7.9 per cent growth in the instant noodle market size in Singapore from 2015 to 2016.
Sheng Siong supermarket told TNP there has been a 10 per cent growth in the sales of its instant noodles over the past two years.
Other retailers, such as NTUC FairPrice, told TNP there has been a 5 to 9 per cent spike in sales over the past year.
Cold Storage revealed that it saw double-digit growth over the past four to five years.
Why is demand rising?
Convenience, and hot new flavours.
Noting Singaporeans' busier, more hectic lifestyles, Mr Jack Loo, chief methodologist of independent marketing research firm Nexus Link, said: "Out of convenience, many would choose to dine out or consume instant food for their 'quick' meals. Their affordability will provide the impetus for their continuous demand over the long term."
He also noted that customers are now "spoilt for choice", with a wide variety of new flavours on the shelves.
Euromonitor International analyst Reema Jagtiani said industry players have "sought to raise the bar in terms of flavour offerings to retain interest".
Mr Adrian Tan, managing director of consulting group Asia Insight, added: "When you compare a typical supermarket shelf selling instant noodles five years ago and today, you will see that there are so many more choices."
He noted that manufacturers have created new flavours both local - laksa, bak kut teh - and foreign - Japanese beef soba, Korean kimchi, Vietnamese pho - to cater to customers who are used to the wide variety of cuisines available here.
"The desire to replicate an eatery experience at home opens up opportunities for premium and global flavours," he said.
The innovation in flavours satisfies spice palates and also extends to other international cuisines, said Mr Raphael Pereda, head of FMCG Industry at Nielsen Singapore.
Data from the supermarkets bear this out.
Giant said it has seen an increase in sales in two particular products - the hot chicken flavour from Korean brand Samyang and Maggi's extra spicy goreng flavour.
"New Korean brands which offer spicy options are gaining a foothold in Singapore, as (these flavours fit) the palate of locals who love spicy food," said a Giant spokesman.
According to Sing Long Foodstuff, Samyang's local distributor, orders for its hot chicken flavour went up by 25 to 30 per cent this year.
Supermarkets say other popular flavours include local brand Prima Taste's premium range of la mian and wholegrain ramen.
Ngee Ann Polytechnic student Por Shi Hui, 19, eats instant noodles at least twice a week because it is "fuss-free".
Convenience is also why Ms Lydia Leong, 28, an order management analyst, reaches for instant noodles when she is pressed for time.
And she does not mind splurging on her favourites - laksa or kimchi flavours from premium brands, which can cost about $2 more per packet compared to regular brands.
"They have better quality. The noodles are more springy and do not get soggy easily," she said.
BY THE NUMBERS
A report by global marketing research firm Nielsen showed that there was a 7.9 per cent growth in the instant noodles market size in Singapore from 2015 to 2016.
When you compare a typical supermarket shelf selling instant noodles five years ago and today, you will see that there are so many more choices.
- Mr Adrian Tan, managing director of consulting group Asia Insight