Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010 Ramen Trend

I did a sharing recently about my amateurish observation on the ramen scene in Singapore as a ramen blogger. It was quite well-received!

As 2010 is coming to an end, I thought that it will be timely to share the top 3 ramen trends in Singapore on this blog too.

The first obvious trend is the continuous influx of Japanese ramen brands to Singapore.

Just in 2010 itself, 6 ramen brands came from Japan into Singapore - Nanttsutei, Keisuke, Sanomaru, Ippudo TAO, Kusabi and Kura. This excludes the expansion of ramen brands that are already in Singapore (e.g. Santouka, Baikohken, Marutama) and home-grown ramen stores. Compared with about 2-3 years ago when ramen is pretty hard to find, it is now very much within reach of everyone; most of the major malls in Singapore will have 1 ramen store. Good news for ramen fans like me!

But competition is definitely getting stiffer. There should be more new entrants to the market in 2011, and the existing players have to continue to maintain their quality and offer new products to retain and grow their customer base.

Next, we now see the formation of 2 "ramen clusters", i.e. areas with a high concentration of ramen outlets - one in Orchard and one along the Singapore River.

Just like how fashion brands like to open their flagship store along Orchard, ramen brands also clustered along Orchard road to maximise their exposure and establish themselves. With more than 12 ramen outlets along Orchard, you can drop by one easily when you crave for it when you are shopping.

The Singapore River area is where many Japanese expats live, and ramen outlets thrive there I presume with the higher demand. Its also a good place to be for a chill out session with your friends at one of the pubs, and then ending the day with a bowl of ramen - the Japanese way!

Last but not least, with increasing competition, the ramen brands in Singapore have evolved and try to cater more to the local Singaporean taste.

With our liking of all things spicy and with chili, thats what they've given us!

Can you guess where are they from?

Influx of Japanese ramen, formation of ramen cluster and localisation of ramen.
These are the 3 trends that I observed this year.

As a ramen fan, these are great developments - more to choose from, easier to find, and more new products to spice up the ramen scene.
Looking forward to see how these trends will evolve in 2011!

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