Pot Noodle

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Pot Noodle
A beef and tomato flavoured Pot Noodle
Creator Momofuku Ando
Manufactorer Unilever
Price £1 - £2

Pot Noodle is a brand of ramen-style instant noodle snack foods, available in a selection of flavours and varieties. It is dehydrated mixture consists of wide noodles, textured soya pieces (replaced by meat in the "GTi" variant[1]), assorted dried vegetables and flavouring powder. The product is prepared by adding boiling water, which softens the noodles and dissolves the powdered sauce. The product is packaged in a sturdy plastic pot, from which the prepared noodles can be eaten, and each pot also regularly contains a sachet of sauce, such as soy sauce or tomato.


Instant noodles were originally developed in 1958 by Momofuku Ando as Cup Noodle. Golden Wonder launched the Pot Noodle brand in the United Kingdom in 1978.[2] The Golden Wonder brand was acquired by Unilever in 1995. Golden Wonder was then sold to Tayto in 2006, with Unilever retaining the Pot Noodle brand. Golden Wonder has since established another line of pot noodles called The Nation's Noodles[3] in direct competition with their old brand.[4]

Pot Noodles are manufactured in Croespenmaen, near Crumlin, Caerphilly, Wales,[5] which became the topic of a 2006 advertising campaign, showing fictitious Pot Noodle mines in Wales. The factory typically produces 155 million pots annually.

Around 2006, Pot Noodle's recipe was changed to make the product healthier. This mostly involved cutting down on the amount of salt in the product.

In 2007, the brand's logo was changed.

Despite the product's high sales volume, it was voted the "most hated brand" in the UK in a 2004 poll.[6]

Pot Noodle has often given promotional gifts away, including a 'horn' and a 'spinning fork'.

Current UK Vegan flavours

  • Beef & Tomato (brown)
  • Bombay Bad Boy (black)
  • Sweet & Sour (light blue)
  • Southern Fried Chicken (red)
  • Pot Noodle In a Mug, a Cup-a-Soup style packet variant with less noodles, in four flavours: Tomato & Herb, Spicy Curry, Chinese Chicken and Roast Chicken

Current UK Non-Vegan flavours

  • Pot Noodle GTi[1]
  • Chicken & Mushroom (green)
  • Original Curry (creamy yellow)
  • Sweet & Spicy (orange)
  • Chilli Beef (Brown and orange)
  • Chinese Chow Mein (dark blue)
  • Sticky Rib (white and red)
  • Jamaican Jerk (black, green and yellow)


Although some of the Ingredients of some of the Pot Noodles are vegan some may chose not eat them for other ethical reasons. Unilever who own the brand are still testing on animals. They have stated, "Animal testing is a contentious issue, and there are strong and diverse opinions on the need for animal testing to underpin the development of new consumer products, particularly cosmetics. Unilever is required to provide animal data to comply with the safety regulations in place in different countries across the world. Where we are legally obliged to commission animal studies, we ensure that the minimum numbers of animals are used."[7]

Unilever has been criticised by Greenpeace for causing deforestation,[8] Unilever was targeted in 2008 by Greenpeace UK,[9] which criticised the company for buying palm oil from suppliers that are damaging Indonesia's rainforests. Unilever, as a founding member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), responded by publicizing its plan to obtain all of its palm oil from sources that are certified as sustainable by 2015.[10]

In popular culture

Pot Noodle has been derided or used as a punchline by many British television comedies, generally with an implication that the snack food is of a low quality, and is only eaten as a result of laziness or poverty. In the Red Dwarf episode "Marooned" (1989), the character Lister chooses to eat dog food over a Pot Noodle, after not having eaten for six days. In the episode "Demons and Angels" (1992) Lister and Cat eat a synthetically enhanced replicated Pot Noodle which they are amazed to find actually tastes edible.

In an episode of The Office, Finchy tells a story where he describes a colleague as looking like he spent the previous night having "a Pot Noodle and a wank".

In Douglas Adams' 1988 novel The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul, detective Dirk Gently encounters (and subsequently has his nose broken by) a television-addicted boy who survives on nothing but Pot Noodle.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Banham, Mark (7 October 2010). "Pot Noodle launches campaign for GTi range". Marketing Magazine. Retrieved 3 March 2012. 
  2. Elkins, Ruth (7 January 2007). "Mr Pot Noodle dies, aged 96". The Independent. Retrieved 25 January 2012. 
  3. "The Nation's Noodle website". Retrieved 8 December 2010. 
  4. Ed Kemp (24 July 2009). "Golden Wonder to take on Pot Noodle with 'The Nation's Noodle'". Marketing magazine. Retrieved 8 December 2010. 
  5. "From Pot Noodle to pit for advert". BBC News. 9 May 2006. Retrieved 5 May 2008. 
  6. "Pot Noodle UK's most hated brand". Daily Mail. 28 September 2004. 
  7. "Unilever: ‘A Very Small Amount of Animal Testing is Still Necessary’". Veg on The Table. Retrieved 22 October 2012. 
  8. "Unilever admits toxic dumping: will clean up but not come clean". Greenpeace. Retrieved 2 August 2007. {{#invoke:Category handler|main}}[dead link]
  9. "Ape protest at Unilever factory". BBC. Retrieved 23 March 2008. 

External links