Who invented Pot Noodles & other Pot Noodle fun facts

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Wondering who invented Pot Noodle?

Or other Pot Noodle fun facts so you can “wow” the pub quiz or just get to the bottom of one of the UK’s most polarizing snack foods?

I’m here to help!

Pot Noodle is such a British classic, and if you’re unfamiliar (like I was when I first moved here), Pot Noodle is a UK brand of instant noodle snack food, basically ramen, cup noodles, instant noodles – whatever you want to call them.

It’s one of those British things that aren’t available in the USA.

Pot Noodle History

While the UK didn’t invent instant noodles – that happened in 1958 in Japan, a UK snack food brand called Golden Wonder launched Pot Noodle in the UK in 1977.

Through the years, it’s been owned by a few different companies, moving to Best Foods in 1995 and then Unilever in 2000.

They’re an instant food snack, popular with university students, working adults who need something fast, and generally people who want a comfort food in mere minutes that they can make with just a kettle.

The target market is described as a 16 to 24 year old male, and it has a 77 percent market share for snacks in a pot in the UK.

There are many arguments across the internet amongst the British about whether Pot Noodle is the actual best thing ever or absolutely disgusting, so you can imagine what kind of food product we’re talking about here – it’s polarizing.

How is it different to ramen?

I was used to instant ramen and other snacks in a pot in the USA (think: Easy Mac), but there is a big difference between Pot Noodle and what I knew.

We make them in the microwave, rather than using the kettle as many Americans don’t have electric kettles and we’re not going to stand there boiling water on the stove to pour into instant noodles when we could boil water to make regular noodles.

How do you make a Pot Noodle?

Now, the way you “make” a pot noodle is simple – if you can call it “making” one.

You essentially peel back the lid, remove the flavor packet inside, and pour boiling water in.

Then after a couple of minutes, you stir in the packet and boom, pot noodle of whatever flavor you’ve bought.

But people disagree on whether you then pour the water out to have just the noodles or whether you keep the extra liquid in so it’s like noodles in a broth.

The people in favor of keeping the liquid in say things like, “The broth is better than the noodles” and “The broth is the best part, that’s why I’m eating the noodles”, but those opposed say things like, “Who wants soggy noodles?” and “I ain’t drinking soup, I’m eating noodles!”.

Pot Noodle Fun Facts

Our next fun fact about Pot Noodles has to do with the sheer amount that are made every year, over 170 million.

That’s about 240 pot noodles being eaten every minute.  

And they’re made in Crumlin, South Wales, home of the Pot Noodle factory

Pot Noodle Flavors

The list of flavors is insane, with everything from sweet and sour to curry to beef and tomato to sticky rib to Christmas dinner to Korma and so much more.

Many outlets have tried to rank the pot noodle flavors, with beef and tomato and chicken and mushroom often being ranked at the top, but this is another area where the comments sections can get heated.

Pot Noodle Advertising

And then there’s the advertising. Pot Noodle has taken a pretty controversial approach with their commercials (known as adverts in the UK) over the years, with complaints about their ads about everything from “condoning violence” to being too crude to encouraging children to lick frozen pipes to being offensive towards the Welsh.

In fact, one ad was actually taken off the air in 2002 after receiving so many complaints – you can find it here.

Are Pot Noodle Healthy?

Pot Noodle health benefits are….few, really, being healthy is not the point of eating a Pot Noodle, but they did decrease the salt amount in 2006 to try and make everyone feel better about themselves, so there’s that.

It’s still a high salt product, though.

Are Pot Noodles Suitable for Vegetarians?

And here’s another fun fact – Pot Noodles are suitable for vegetarians.

But they have flavors like beef and tomato, you say!

How could that be vegetarian?

Because it isn’t meat, no matter the flavor, you’re getting noodles, soya pieces, vegetables, and seasoning powder.

Other Pot Noodle Products

They also do sort of spin off products, like “Lost the Pot Noodles” and Pot Pasta, though they’ve had many other types of convenience foods with the same branding over the years that haven’t made it – this includes Pot Rice, Pot Mash, and Pot Casserole!

You could even get a Pot Sweet in the 1980s which was a dessert range.

If you opt for the “King” size, that’s the larger pot noodle size.

1 thought on “Who invented Pot Noodles & other Pot Noodle fun facts”

  1. Nothing about Pot noodles I’m afraid.
    I was wondering. I love cats.
    My cat Fendi is an outdoor cat.
    I let her have free range of my local village.
    Via my cat flap.
    Americans seem to keep their cats indoors,
    Especially Mike Tyson whose cat is an a tiger.
    Is this because of the wildlife in the US?
    Or would they get stolen?

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