Ando founded what was to become Nissin in Ikeda, Osaka, Japan, starting off as a small family-run company producing salt.
With Japan still suffering from a shortage of food in the post-war era, the Ministry of Health tried to encourage people to eat bread made from wheat flour that was supplied by the United States. Ando wondered why bread was recommended instead of noodles, which were more familiar to the Japanese. The Ministry's response was that noodle companies were too small and unstable to satisfy supply needs, so Ando decided to develop the production of noodles by himself. The experience convinced him that "Peace will come to the world when the people have enough to eat."
On August 25, 1958, at the age of 48, and after months of trial and error experimentation to perfect his flash-frying method, Ando marketed the first package of precooked instant noodles. Ando began the sales of his most famous product, Cup Noodle (カップヌードル Kappu Nūdoru?), on September 18, 1971 with the masterstroke of providing a waterproof polystyrene container.
As prices dropped, instant ramen soon became a booming business. Worldwide demand reached 98 billion servings in 2009. As of 2007, Chicken Ramen is still sold in Japan and now retails for around ¥60, or approximately one third the price of the cheapest bowl of noodles in a Japanese restaurant.
According to The Financial Times, Ando's invention of Cup Noodles in 1971, at the age of 61, helped spark the popularity of instant noodles overseas. He had observed that Americans ate noodles by breaking the noodles in half, putting them into a cup, and pouring hot water over the noodles. They also ate them with a fork instead of chopsticks. Ando was inspired, and felt that a Styrofoam cup—with a narrower bottom than the top—would be the ideal vessel for holding noodles and keeping them warm. Eating the noodles would then be as easy as opening the lid, adding hot water and waiting. This simplicity, efficiency and low price of Cup Noodles went on to transform Nissin's fortunes.
The similarity between the food Ramen and the technique Raman creates an immediate and direct link. This is then compounded by the nature of the story of Momofuku Ando’s invention of a simple, efficient and low priced version that was readily adopted by the masses around the world. This is exactly what we are trying to do with Raman.
I hope this helps to elucidate the reason behind the selection of the name Project MOMO for our little device.
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