|Birth Day:||March 5, 1910|
|Death Date:||Jan 5, 2007 (age 96)|
|Birth Place:||Puzi, Taiwan|
As per our current Database, Momofuku Ando died on Jan 5, 2007 (age 96).
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He opened a textiles business in his early twenties and went on to study economics at Ritsumeikan University. His first instant noodles product made its debut in 1958.
Ando was born Go Peh-hok 吳百福 in 1910 into a wealthy Taiwanese family in Kagi-chō (Japanese: 嘉義廳, modern-day Chiayi County), Japanese Formosa (Taiwan), and raised by his grandparents within the city walls of Tainan-chō (臺南廳, Tainan) following the deaths of his parents. His grandparents owned a small textiles store, which inspired him, at the age of 22, to start his own textiles company, using 190,000 yen, in Eiraku-chō (永樂町), Daitōtei, Taihoku (Taipei).
In 1933, Ando traveled to Osaka, where he established a clothing company while studying economics at Ritsumeikan University.
Ando was convicted of tax evasion in 1948 and served two years in jail. In his biography, Ando said he had provided scholarships for students, which at the time was a form of tax evasion. After he lost his company due to a chain-reaction bankruptcy, Ando founded what was to become Nissin in Ikeda, Osaka, Japan, starting off as a small family-run company producing salt.
On August 25, 1958, at the age of 48, and after months of trial and error experimentation to perfect his flash-frying method, Ando marketed the first package of precooked instant noodles. The original chicken flavor is called Chikin Ramen. It was originally considered a luxury item with its price of ¥35 (¥608/US$5.69 in 2019 terms), around six times that of traditional udon and soba noodles at the time. As of 2016, Chicken Ramen is still sold in Japan and now retails for around ¥120 (US$1.12), or approximately one-third the price of the cheapest bowl of noodles in a Japanese restaurant.
In 1964, seeking a way to promote the instant noodle industry, Ando founded the Instant Food Industry Association, which set guidelines for fair competition and product quality, introducing several industry standards such as the inclusion of production dates on packaging and the "fill to" line. He was also the chairman of the International Ramen Manufacturers' Association.
In 1966, Ando naturalized through marriage and became a Japanese citizen. "Momofuku" is the Japanese reading of his Taiwanese given name (百福; Pek-hok), while Andō (安藤) is the last name of his Japanese wife.
According to The Financial Times, Ando's invention of Cup Noodles in 1971, at the age of 61, helped spark the popularity of instant noodles overseas. He had observed that Americans ate noodles by breaking the noodles in half, putting them into a paper cup, and pouring hot water over the noodles. They also ate them with a fork instead of chopsticks. Ando was inspired, and felt that a Styrofoam cup—with a narrower bottom than the top—would be the ideal vessel for holding noodles and keeping them warm. Eating the noodles would then be as easy as opening the lid, adding hot water and waiting. This simplicity, efficiency and low price of Cup Noodles went on to transform Nissin's fortunes.
Ando began the sales of his most famous product, Cup Noodle (カップヌードル, Kappu Nūdoru), on September 18, 1971, with the idea of providing a waterproof polystyrene container. As prices dropped, instant ramen soon became a booming business. Worldwide demand reached 98 billion servings in 2009.
In 1972, the Asama-Sansō incident occurred in Nagano Prefecture, Japan. Widespread coverage of the event, which included repeated images of the prefectural Riot Police Unit eating the noodles on national television, have been conjectured as boosting awareness of the brand.
Starting in July 1974, Nissin started to sell "Cup Rice". This invention was proposed by the master of food agency. He wanted someone to invent "Manufactured food of rice which you just pour in the water." Politicians and people who worked in the Food agency ate samples of the first batch of Cup Rice. Their evaluations were very high. In addition, mass communications reported that it was a "miraculous food", and they wrote "Deliverer thing that people who make rice." However, Cup Rice’s catalog price was quite high, compared to cup noodles because the price of rice was more expensive than wheat. Eventually, customers stopped buying Cup Rice because of its cost. So, Ando had to stop selling it. By the time he stopped selling, he had already spent 3 billion yen to build a factory for Cup Rice. It was twice as much as the capital fund. In addition, it was almost the same as sales in one year. At that point, Ando was filled with determination to lose it. According to this book, named "魔法のラーメン発明物語"(It was written in Japanese.) Andou wrote this comment about his experience, "There is a trap in compliments."
Ando died of heart failure on January 5, 2007, at a hospital in Ikeda, Osaka Prefecture, at the age of 96.
On April 8, 2008, Heisei 20th, Andou's bronze statue was unveiled at CUP NOODLES MUSEUM in Ikeda, Osaka Prefecture , because the Ramen summit was held at Osaka. The base looks a Cup Noodles container and his statue is standing on it. In addition, he is holding a Chicken Ramen packet in his right hand. Yasuhiro Nakasone and Masako Andou (Andou's wife) attended the unveiling ceremony. There is a monument in the museum, written by Nakasone.
On October 1, 2008, the company's name was changed "NISSIN FOODS HOLDINGS". At the same time, Nissin Foods Products Co., Ltd was founded. In the same year, Project Hyakufukusi was started.
On March 5, 2015, a Google Doodle celebrated his birthday.
In 2015, Google placed a doodle created by Google artist Sophie Diao on its main web page commemorating his birthday on March 5.
Currently, Momofuku Ando is 112 years, 3 months and 20 days old. Momofuku Ando will celebrate 113th birthday on a Sunday 5th of March 2023.
Find out about Momofuku Ando birthday activities in timeline view here.