Japan Data

Noodle Survey Finds Udon More Popular than Soba in Japan

Food and Drink Lifestyle

A survey in Japan found a slight preference overall for udon over soba. The thick udon noodles tended to be more popular with women and young people, while soba only came out on top among men over 40.

Whether served as a luxurious meal with choice ingredients, or as a quick meal with just a few toppings, udon and soba dishes are popular throughout Japan for their delicious noodles and broth.

Line Research conducted a nationwide survey of men and women aged 15 to 64 across Japan to find out whether they prefer udon or soba. The results of the 5,255 valid responses show that udon has an edge over soba in popularity, with 55% of those surveyed “definitely” or “somewhat” preferring udon, as compared to 43% for soba.

Udon enjoys strong popularity among women, at 65%, compared to 34% for soba. The popularity of udon is solid for all age groups of women. Even among women in their fifties, who have the lowest level of preference for udon, 59% of them either “definitely” or “somewhat” prefer it to soba. However, the proportion of those with at least a slight preference for soba increases among the older age groups, suggesting that the most ardent fans of udon are among the younger generations.


Meanwhile, among men, soba has a slight overall edge in popularity, at 52% compared to 46% for udon. Here, there is a clear change in preference between age groups.

Udon enjoys strong popularity among men in their teens and twenties, at around 60%, but among men in their thirties there is an even split between fans of udon and soba. As men move into their forties, soba begins to get the upper hand, with its lead widening to over 60% among men in their fifties and sixties.


(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo © Pixta.)

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