Instant noodles were invented by Taiwanese-Japanese inventor Momofuku Ando in Japan. It was first marketed on 25 August 1958 by Ando’s company, Nissin, under the brand name Chikin Ramen. Ando developed the production method of flash frying noodles after they had been made, creating the “instant” noodle. This dried the noodles and gave them a longer shelf life, even exceeding that of frozen noodles.
In 1971, Nissin introduced Nissin Cup Noodles, a cup noodle to which boiling water is added to cook the noodles. A further innovation added dried vegetables to the cup, creating a complete instant soup dish.
According to a Japanese poll in the year 2000, “The Japanese believe that their best invention of the twentieth century was instant noodles.” As of 2010, approximately 96 billion servings of instant noodles are eaten worldwide every year. China consumes 42 billion packages of instant noodles per year – 44% of world consumption – Indonesia, 14 billion; Japan, 5.3 billion, Vietnam 4.8 billion, USA 4 billion. An early instant noodle in Indonesia was “Supermi”, introduced in the 1970s by Indofood Sukses Makmur, the largest instant noodle producer in the world. It later introduced two additional brands – “Indomie” and “Sarimi”.