The History of Cup Noodles

Weird History Food took a forthright look at the toothsome history of Cup Noodles, the popular instant ramen product that was found to be the most popular invention from Japan, at least in the year 2000.

In the year 2000 the Fuji Research Institute conducted a poll asking people what they felt was Japan’s greatest invention of the 20th century and the people overwhelmingly answered instant noodles and nothing else even came close.

The product was invented by a Taiwanese national who moved to Japan and changed his name to Ando Momofuku and started his instant ramen business Nissin.

While it wasn’t popular in Japan at first, Nissin created Cup Noodle vending machines. Its popularity reached its peak during a police standoff, where Nissins Cup Noodles used to feed the officers on the front lines. It became so popular that Nissin marketed it to the US. While there, Momofuko got a great idea.

While touring the United States as a potential new market, Momofuku noticed a recurring trend ..each of these offices would be given their sample of instant noodles in disposable cups. When they were done eating, they would simply throw the cups into the garbage. The idea of single-use containers was foreign to Momofuku but he decided he had to embrace America’s fast-paced maximum convenience dumpster-friendly culture if he wanted to make it big in the States. 

And this is how it became one of the most popular college dorm staples around.