Nisshin’s Cup Noodle product is eaten in 80 countries around the world, with more than 31 billion cups having been sold in its near 50 year history, of which Japanese people ate 20 billion. Interestingly, the product is also associated with many early stage startups. There are even expressions like ‘Ramen Profitable‘ by Paul Graham. There are about 34,000 ramen restaurants in Japan according to Tsurumi Ramen, and interestingly that industry has spawned more than a few ramen-related apps, as well as fun products. Here are just a few of them:
The Ramen Now
With over 300,000 downloads, this app allows users to find ramen restaurants nearby by using geolocation. It also provides coupons for some restaurants giving users a reason to try out different ramen. It has Twitter integration, letting people share ramen they like with friends. The app is currently available for both iOS and Android.
Cho Ramen Map
Cho can be roughly translated as ‘extreme.’ And this app is extremely detailed in that it even has information like the thickness of ramen noodles at different restaurants. Of course there is also more general information about restaurants’ hours too. It’s available on Google Play.
Mitsukete means ‘to find’ in Japanese. It is yet another ramen restaurant map application provided by Gurunavi, one of the major Yelp-like sites in Japan. Users are rewarded with stamps for ramen they have ‘conquered’ and can make a log of their ramen experience. The app is currently available on Google Play.
Minna no Ramen Timer
The name of this app translates into ‘Everyone’s Ramen Timer’, and as you may have guessed by now, it is a cooking timer dedicated exclusively to ramen. It’s for people who opt to go with cup noodles at home, rather than eating out. By reading the barcode on different cup noodles, it automatically sets its timer for that particular type. Just tap the start button and it will tell you when your noodles are most delish! You can also find your favorite cup noodles from favorites and history. It’s available over on Google Play.
Now, if these apps aren’t enough to fulfill your ramen appetite, you can order popular ramen from restaurants online which you can then cook at home. The ecommerce startup launched back in July of 2010, and it’s called Takumen. In a year and a half after its launch, the site has sold over 100,000 items to noodle lovers all over Japan. We’ve heard that they have global expansion in mind, and if that happens, we will be sure to let you know!
Cup Noodle Inception?
We recently came across some cute Cup Noodle merchandise designed by Japanese design studio Nendo, which was produced for the Nisshin Cup Noodles Museum in Yokohama. The Cup noodle Matryoshka (pictured above) takes the brand’s iconic packaging and makes it into a matryoshka-like container, with a cup in a cup in a cup (in a dream?).
Cup noodle forms (below) is another interesting product, making a slight change in the form and shape of the cup to transform it into something entirely different.