statue of Momofuku Ando, from Cup noodle museum, Yokohama
|Died||January 5, 2007 (aged 96)|
Momofuku Ando (安藤百福, Andō Momofuku), born Wú Bǎifú (吳百福) in Taiwanese (March 5, 1910 - January 5, 2007) was the founder and chairman of Nissin Food Products Co., Ltd., and the inventor of the modern instant noodle, ramen.
Ando was born to Taiwanese parents in Kagi (currently Chiayi), Taiwan and grew up an orphan in Tainan City. In 1948, Momofuku Ando founded what was to become Nissin in Ikeda, Osaka, Japan. It was a small family-run company at first.
On August 25, 1958, at the age of 48, and after months of trial and error experimentation, Ando announced that he had finally perfected his flash-frying method and therefore invented the instant noodle. Called Chikin Ramen, after the original flavour, it was originally considered a luxury food item as it cost around six times that of traditional non-instant udon and soba noodles. Ando began sales of the Cup noodles on September 18, 1971. As prices dropped, ramen soon became a booming business. An estimated 70 billion servings were sold in 2004.
In 1964, looking for a way to promote the instant noodle industry, Ando founded the Instant Food Industry Association which set guidelines for fair competition and product quality, introducing several industry standards such as the inclusion of production dates on packaging and the "fill to" line. The Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum is named after Ando.