Money & Business

Wednesday Buzz: This Association Represents Ramen

By / Apr 20, 2016 (iStock/Thinkstock)

The history of the organization that celebrates instant noodles. Plus: Facebook may soon let you get money for posts.

Instant noodles: the meal of champions on a budget and one of the key food groups of college students.

While preparing a cup of noodles is simple enough, producing it is more complex than just adding water.

Enter the World Instant Noodles Association (WINA), the organization bringing order and innovation to the world of instant noodles.

The organization was founded in 1997 as the International Ramen Manufacturers Association (RIMA) by the mastermind behind the popular food, Momofuku Ando.

Starting from humble beginnings, instant noodles were invented to solve a food shortage in Japan after World War II.

Nearly 60 years after the first instant noodles were sold, the flash-fried noodles Ando created and refined in his Osaka kitchen have exploded into a booming international market.

“WINA has a total of 67 instant noodle manufacturers from 21 different countries/regions as its regular members,” WINA Deputy Chief Executive Norio Sakurai told Atlas Obscura. “Besides noodle manufacturers, WINA has approximately 100 associate members, who are engaged in the businesses related to instant noodles such as suppliers of materials.”

Headquartered in the Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum, WINA works to uphold industry safety standards, hosts a World Instant Noodles Summit, and is even involved in disaster and hunger relief efforts.

“Instant noodles have great potential to be a vehicle to supply customized micronutrients and functional substances,” says Sakurai.

As instant noodles producers continue to expand and innovate, it just goes to show how big things can come in small packaging.

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Eli Zimmerman

Eli is studying Journalism at the University of Maryland. When not studying, he likes to relax with a nice book or a couple rounds at the local boxing gym. More »

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