We wouldn’t consider this to be a mid-life crisis, but even dorm room staples have a hankering to take a crack at reinvention once their 45th birthday rolls around.
Cup Noodles, the ever-reliable thrifty low glam instant ramen snack, is undergoing a bit of a makeover. (Sorry, “Ramen Reformulation®.”) The first time in its near half-decade history, the U.S. version of Cup Noodles will see its special formula changed. The titular cup and noodles will still be in the equation, but the updated take will be going in a more nutrition-minded direction. Nissin Foods have announced that they will reduce sodium, remove added MSG and ditch artificial flavors. What did your mom or dad do for their 45th birthday? Ditch their artificial flavors? UNLIKELY!
“Listening to our consumers has always been at the core of what our company, and the Cup Noodles product in particular, was founded on,” declared Nissin Foods USA president Al Multari in a press release trumpeting the change. “Most recently, we asked our consumers what changes they’d like to see in our Cup Noodles product. They told us that without sacrificing taste, the three most compelling changes we could make to our recipe were: lower sodium, no added MSG and no artificial flavors. This is exactly what we’ve been able to accomplish. Our consumers rely on Cup Noodles as a convenient, affordable and quality meal to help keep them going – and now, they can feel even better about eating it.”
We don’t imagine a “New Coke” situation will emerge out of the revamp. Cup Noodles consumers are a loyal bunch, but let’s not ignore that a large part of the product’s appeal is the price and ease of transport. Placing increased value on nutrition isn’t all that nutty considering the push other brands have made to sell a healthy aura.
Nissin Foods USA will be introducing consumers to the “Ramen Reformulation” of Cup Noodle with the product’s first-ever U.S. national advertising campaign. The marketing blitz is set to arrive in November, but the new and (presumably) improved Cup Noodles are already up for sale. Here’s hoping we get some vending machines too in 2016.