Quirky innovation: Nissin creates dual flavoured cup noodles and soda series to mark 50th year
The dual-flavoured cup noodle is a four-product series, combining two core flavours in one, and marketed under the Cup Noodle Super Combined brand.
Haruka Aoki, chief of corporate communication at Nissin Foods Holdings, told FoodNavigator-Asia: “Over the years, we have released numerous variations of cup noodles, but since this year marks the brand’s 50th anniversary, we wanted our consumers to see the eight core flavour profiles of the cup noodles line in a whole new light.
“About a year ago, we held a meeting and discussed what sort of commemorative products we could create, so we decided on a new cup noodles product line in which each product would feature a combination of two flavours from the eight core flavour profiles of the cup noodles line in one package.”
Aoki told us the idea was inspired in recent years, where several consumers posted on social media about how they enjoyed mixing two different flavours into one.
“This has become a popular way of eating cup noodles, and last year we ran a promotion where we combined the miso and spicy tonkotsu flavours, creating a new tasting experience for our consumers. Our newest product line has taken the concept of last year’s promotion to a whole new level.”
This time, there will be four products available, a combination of the original and salt cup noodles, seafood and curry, miso and spicy tonkotsu, chilli tomato and cheese curry.
Instead of creating a new flavour from scratch, the challenge was in finding a way to combine existing flavours that were familiar to consumers.
“Not only that, but the new combination would obviously have to be more delicious than any single flavour, otherwise there would be no point in commercialising it,” Aoki added.
The most testing part came in choosing which flavours would pair well with its flagship product, the original cup noodle flavour, which is its most popular flavour profile.
“The big issue was how to maintain the one-and-only flavour of the regular cup noodles while adding an element of newness at the same time. The soup used in the regular cup noodles is not as pronounced as that of cup noodles curry or spicy tonkotsu, so it was very difficult to strike the balanc.”
“In the end, we opted for a combination of the regular cup noodles flavor and cup noodles sio, which added the flavour of smoked olives characteristic of the latter product to the powdered soup, thus succeeding in bringing out the best of the two flavour profiles.” Cup Noodles Sio is salt-flavoured ramen.
In total, the firm created and sampled 28 flavour combinations, ultimately narrowing to eight flavours and four pairs. The entire process took around five months.
These products are retailing at supermarkets and convenience stores across Japan, and will only be available in limited quantities.
Another new product lineup from Nissin is a series of cup noodle-flavoured soda.
Coming in four variations, the flavours are a ginger ale with salt and pepper (soda), seafood with cream soda (seafood soda), cola-style soda with curry (curry soda), and tomato-style soda with a tingling sensation (chilli tomato soda).
The drinks are sold on Nissin’s official store, and e-commerce sites such as Amazon, au PAY Market, Rakuten, Lohaco, and Yodobashi.
To mark the golden anniversary of its flagship product, the firm also launched a high protein and low carbohydrate cup noodle product, and a solidifying agent for leftover soup earlier. Most recently, it announced plans to eliminate the use of lid-closing stickers on its cup noodle packaging, replacing it with a double flap lid design.