Momofuku Ando

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Puzi, Chiayi County
Birth Sign
Pisces
Birthday
Birthplace
Puzi, Chiayi County

Momofuku Ando is the founder of Nissin Food Products Co. Ltd., a Japanese food product firm. He also popularized instant noodles, cup noodles, and instant ramen, which were known as the cheapest and most convenient food. After WWII, he grew concerned about the food shortage in Japan and embarked on a series of experiments to get noodles to the tables of every Japanese household. He finally found a way for preparing noodles instantly by pouring warm water on them after trying several things that resulted in blunders. The Japanese people took to this new sort of food like fish to water, and soon everyone in Japan was eating noodles made from wheat flour provided by the US government instead of bread prepared from the same wheat flour. The Japanese hailed him as a brilliant invention for supplying food to Japan’s starving people at a time when the country was ravaged. He was praised not just by the Japanese, but also by the American government for resolving the country’s food problem.

Childhood and Adolescence

Momofuku Ando was born on March 5, 1910, in the Taiwanese city of Kagi-Cho (now known as Chiayi). Go Pek-Hok was the name given to him by his parents.

He began living with his grandparents inside the city boundaries of Tainan-Cho, which is now known as Tainan when his parents died.

Momofuku Ando’s Career

Momofuku Ando spent roughly 190,000 Yen he had inherited as an inheritance from his parents to start a textile company in Daitotei (Taipei) at the age of twenty-two, drawing inspiration from his grandparents who owned a modest commercial store for textiles.

In 1933, he moved to Osaka, Japan, to study economics at Ritsumeikan University. He launched a clothes firm while studying there.
He became a Japanese citizen after World War II. His Chinese name, Go Pek-Hok, was changed to Momofuku in Japanese, and the surname Ando was added.

In 1948, he was charged with tax evasion and sentenced to prison, where he spent nearly two years. He had paid out scholarships to deserving students, which was deemed tax evasion at the time.

In Ikeda, Osaka, he launched a modest family-owned salt production company when his apparel company went bankrupt. This business was the forerunner to the current one.

After the war, Japan was suffering from food scarcity, and the authorities advised citizens to consume bread produced from wheat flour supplied by the United States because there were no stable noodle producers large enough to supply the need. In these circumstances, he decided to conduct large-scale trials to manufacture noodles.

He devised a flash-frying method after considerable trial and sold the first packet of instant noodles on August 25, 1958, when he was 48 years old. The original product was called “Chikin Ramen,” and it cost 35 yen. It was considered a luxury because a serving of soba or udon noodles cost nearly six times as much.

On September 18, 1971, he introduced the first cup noodle product packaged in a weatherproof polystyrene container. It was an instant hit, and this brilliant move turned his company into a thriving enterprise overnight.

In 1964, he created the “Instant Food Industry Association” to establish ramen production criteria, such as fair competition and printing the manufacture date on the packet. He went on to lead the ‘International Ramen Manufacturers Association.’

In 2005, he provided instant noodles to the crew aboard the space shuttle ‘Discovery’ in customized canisters he designed.

By 2007, chicken ramen was selling in Japan for 60 yen a packet, less than a third of the price of a serving of inexpensive noodles in any Japanese restaurant. Achievements and Awards

His most notable success was the development of cup noodles in 1971. The noodles are readily consumed by opening the lid of the Styrofoam container he devised, putting warm water into it, and waiting until it is soft. He made a fortune selling these inexpensive yet convenient instant noodles all over the world.

In 1977, Momofuku Ando was awarded the ‘Medal of Honor’ with a Blue Ribbon for his contribution to the nation’s destitute and war-torn people.
In 1982, the Japanese government awarded him the ‘Order of the Sacred Treasure, Second Class, with Gold and Silver Stars.’

In 1983, he received the ‘Medal of Honor’ with a Purple Ribbon.
In 1992, he was appointed Director of Japan’s Science and Technology Agency and won the ‘Distinguished Service Award.’

In 2002, the Japanese government bestowed upon him the ‘Order of the Rising Sun, Second Class, with Gold and Silver Stars.’

Personal History and Legacy

Momofuku Ando died of heart failure on January 5, 2007, at the age of 96, in Ikeda, Osaka Prefecture, leaving behind his wife Masako, a daughter, and two sons.

In Japan, he is honored with the ‘Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum.’

Estimated Net worth

Momofuku Ando was a $100 million dollar net worth Taiwanese-Japanese businessman. Momofuku Ando was born in March 1910 in Kagi County, Japanese Taiwan, and died in January 2007.

Trivia

Momofuku Ando ate chicken ramen till the day of his death, claiming it to be the ideal cuisine for sustaining excellent health.