Cup Noodle, long stereotyped as subsistence food for college students
and basement dwelling bachelor geeks, is getting an extreme makeover,
home cooking edition. Maruchan's "New Orleans Style Gumbo Noodle" is the
first hot shot in the battle to make instant ramen cool.
Japan's iconic Cup Noodle instant ramen has been a fave food for students, gamers and the "I can burn boiling water" set for decades, and the appearance of the packaging has changed little since those long gone pre-Disco days.
Cup Noodle's original customers have grown up and begat little geeks of their own - they could change, so why not Cup Noodle? Japanese food giant Maruchan not only wants to update Cup Noodle for a new generation, they hope to broaden its appeal to a wider demographic as well. The campaign centers on new Cup Noodle varieties in attractively designed cups, which are about to land on Japanese store shelves
According to Maruchan, "New Orleans Style Gumbo Noodle" will cost 170 yen (about $1.90) per cup and features flat noodles in a sauce thickened with okra. Noodles, not rice... Cajuns will be ragin' back in the parishes. At least the prepared product will have a "spicy hotness", though that may not appeal to female noodle-slurpers known for preferring milder flavors.
Lest ramen purists get all up in arms over Gumbo Ramen, it should be mentioned that the concept was arrived at after consultation with the noodle nerds at the Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum - yes, there is such a thing - and their logo appears on the lower portion of every cup.
Lastly, and just so you don't forget this is a Japanese product, red English script on the cup reads "Let's eat together with sandwich!"