Toyo Suisan’s Maruchan Seimen
An explosive hit product in the instant noodle market sets a new standard for instant ramen.
Toyo Suisan shipped 200 million packages of its Maruchan Seimen instant ramen within a year of its release in November 2011. Instant ramen in packets has always taken a backseat to the cup variety, which was first released by Nisshin in 1971. However, Maruchan Seimen is no ordinary packet of noodles. Manufacturers have difficulties differentiating their products from their rivals’, because they all essentially consist of soup mix and noodles. Long-selling brands dominate the instant noodle market, but Maruchan Seimen achieved instant success when it was launched. This great achievement is the first time in a long while that a new product has established itself in the market so soon.
The concept of top quality instant noodles, with a particular emphasis on the noodles, overturned consumer expectations of packaged noodles. “We aimed to create dry noodles that tasted like raw noodles but retained the convenience and shelf life of instant noodles,” said CSR Public Relations Department staff at Toyo Suisan.
Most instant noodles are either deep fried or hot-air dried, but Toyo Suisan uses original technology to produce instant noodles that are as delicious as raw ones. They dry freshly cut noodles, as they are, to create instant noodles with body.
The prototype was superb, but commercialization was difficult
Turning words into action is hard. Developing a new noodle processing method took about five years. “Recreating these results in a production line for mass manufacturing was especially difficult. Some tests could only be conducted at the factory, so the research staff were going to and fro between the laboratory and the factory for days on end,” the PR staff explained.
The appeal of instant noodles is, of course, being able to choose the toppings. Toyo Suisan’s web site features a page, called “Home ramen skill up: Try adding selected ingredients,” packed with original ramen recipes. Ramen aficionados can use hints from this page to broaden their homemade-ramen horizons.
People who have fixed preconceptions about instant ramen should give Maruchan Seimen a try. Why not make top-quality ramen at home for yourself with ease?
The noodles are 25 to 30 cm in length – half that of standard instant noodles – making them easier for children and the elderly to eat.
● Enquiries: Toyo Suisan Customer Enquiries Tel: 03-3458-3333
Photos/Susumu Nagao Text/JQR