Nissin to raise instant noodle prices

JAPAN - Nissin Food Products Co. plans to raise the prices of nearly half of its instant noodles, including Cup Noodle, in January, due to higher ingredient costs.

It will be the first time in seven years for prices to increase.

The planned markup of 5 per cent to 8 per cent will be introduced on instant noodles shipped on Jan 1, 2015, and later, making the regular size of Cup Noodle retail for 180 yen excluding tax, up by 10 yen from the current price of 170 yen.

Nissin said Monday it was forced to hike prices because of the rising cost of wheat, cooking oil and other ingredients, caused by expanding demand in emerging countries and the impact of the yen's recent weakness.

About 250 instant noodle products packaged in a bag or a cup will be subject to the price hikes.

Nissin marked down some of its major cup noodles in April, in anticipation of consumers becoming more budget-minded following the consumption tax rate hike that month. However, a public relations official at the company said, "We have reached the limit of our cost-cutting measures."

The upward trend in prices of instant noodles is likely to spread because other instant noodle firms such as Toyo Suisan Kaisha Ltd. and Sanyo Foods Co. are considering measures to deal with higher ingredient prices, according to the companies.