Momofuku Ando

“It took 48 years of my life for me to come up with the idea of instant noodles. Each and every event in the past is connected to the present by invisible threads.”

March 5, 1910
January 5, 2007
Birth Place
Chiayi, Taiwan, Province of China
Current Place
Ikeda, Osaka, Japan


Momofuku Ando was a Japanese inventor and businessman who founded Nissin Food Products Co., Ltd.. He is known as one of the inventors of instant noodles, instant ramen, and Cup Noodles. In 1933, Ando traveled to Osaka. There he established a textiles business that sold knitted goods, which enjoyed great success. Ando became involved in a variety of other business ventures, including the manufacture of slide projectors, charcoal production, the fabrication of barrack housing, salt production, and the founding of a school. He accomplished this while studying economics at Ritsumeikan University. Shortly after the end of the WWII, Japan faced a dire food shortage. The streets were filled with hungry people with countless number of them collapsed and dying from malnutrition. Ando witnessed this firsthand. With Japan still suffering from a shortage of food in the post-war era, the Ministry of Health tried to encourage people to eat bread made from wheat flour that was supplied by the United States. Ando wondered why bread was recommended instead of noodles, which were more familiar to the Japanese. The Japanese Ministry's response was that noodle companies were too small and unstable to satisfy supply needs, so Ando decided to develop the production of noodles by himself from the same stable supply of wheat flour. The rest is history.

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