Who has not eaten an instant noodle or just noodle for that matter? I’m sure you’ll agree it’s a comfort food. It gives off an instant dose of pleasure because of it’s warm liquid’s delicious taste which is also gives warmth to our bodies especially to our bellies in a cold day.
From its first recorded origin in China, noodles have spread to all corners of the world. There is hardly anyone in the world who has not tasted at least one of the many varieties of noodles. Thus, making noodles ‘instant’ only made it more popular than ever.
Articles about noodles are by themselves plentiful online. There is no need to discuss much about anything concerning noodles. There is however, something still to be said about instant noodle stands/restaurants.
And why is there a special need to discuss instant noodles? Because they have managed to make themselves a part of the diet of many people especially those from developing nations. Just like canned foods, they make up entire isles in grocery stores.
It’s no secret, the market for instant noodles is growing. According to Global News Wire, a research firm, the industry is set to grow at about 2% CAGR until about 2027. In China alone, it is set to grow at a CAGR of 3.3%.
As already mentioned, we can trace their origins in China. This is the definition of noodles according to the website of ScienceDirect:
“Noodles are typically made from unleavened wheat dough and are stretched, extruded, or rolled, and then cut into varying shapes. Noodles account for approximately 20%–50% of the total wheat consumed in Asia, and its popularity has extended to many countries outside of Asia.”
But let’s forget about formalities for a moment. I know that most people would be able to know a noodle by just seeing one. It is simply this popular that it has entered the consciousness of many people around the world.
But why are noodles so popular and why are they considered comfort food? There are three main reasons: cheap cost, very filling, warms the belly.
Since they are made with very few ingredients, they can be sold at a cheap price. This is particularly effective in developing countries and even in developed countries such as Korea where noodles and instant noodles are very popular.
If you must know, before Korea became one of the most developed and rich countries in the world, it endured decades long economic hardships and even wars which destroyed their economy.
Many Koreans grew up eating noodles and instant noodles. At first they only ate economical and non-fancy noodles and instant noodles, but as their purchasing power increased, their noodles and instant noodles became expensive and sophisticated as well.
In fact, in many developing countries the prices of Korean instant noodles are so prohibitive that they are even more expensive than actual more filling local meals. This is something Korean instant noodle sellers should be wary of.
But let’s forget about premium instant noodles first and settle on the cheap ones which most people buy. They are evidently one of the cheapest hot meals one can afford especially if they are topped off with rice which many people from developing countries do.
According to the website of Healthline, The majority of instant noodles are low in calories, fiber and protein, but high in fat, carbs, sodium and some micronutrients.
As you can see from their ingredients list, they are very filling and are meant for people who live bursts of energy in their food. Though not necessarily meant for inactive people, they nevertheless can fill anyone’s stomach.
This must be the reason why the so-called “Ramen Budget” term is so popular with financially strapped people like single people, college students, poor families and others. This is because instant noodles can solve one’s hunger problems without requiring much cost.
Is this very important for anyone interested in the instant noodle stand/restaurant business? Yes, this information is very important. Buyers of instant noodles whether to cook at home or to eat in a stand or restaurant don’t necessarily want to spend a lot of money.
Except maybe for Koreans and other people living in developed countries where they can afford to eat expensive instant noodles together with egg, meat, vegetables and other toppings.
I’ve seen YouTube videos of Korean food stands, restaurants and 711 convenience stores from some countries around the word offering egg and even meat and vegetables as a topping to instant noodles.
But I have never seen any stand/restaurant yet which also offers rice to accompany their instant noodle meal. I think sellers of instant noodles are missing out by not offering rice as an accompaniment to their instant noodles.
If you searched in YouTube the keyword “instant noodle rice” or “instant noodle fried rice”, you would see that there are videos of people mixing instant noodles with rice to make a rice meal.
Of course, I don’t need to try these meals for myself as I currently live in a country where it is common for the locals to eat their noodles and instant noodles together with their rice. You can just imagine how filling it is for people to eat noodles and rice at the same time.
Perhaps one the most popular reasons why people love instant noodles is because it warms the belly which is one of the most satisfying experience a person could have. I mean just like coffee, do you want to drink your coffee or sip your instant noodle when it is cold?
There are days when all I can think of is to eat and sip something warm even on a hot summer day. This must be the reason why instant noodles are very popular in countries with cold seasons like Japan, Korea, China and so on.
The country of South Korea for example where the consumption of instant noodles is the highest, people there eat noodles or instant noodles at an average rate of almost 2 days every week.
As Korean instant noodle stands and restaurants as well as 711 convenience stores have proven, an instant noodle stand or restaurant can be feasible. That is, I am assuming that you can open a food stand or restaurant anywhere you want and at little cost.
Let me explain, this website is dedicated only to income generating opportunities that can be done at home or conducted only using one’s own vehicle no matter what it is. I am not at the moment encouraging you to setup at a commercial place where there is a high rent.
For example, there are countries in the world where it is perfectly permissible by the government for one to open a food stand right in their own home or in their cars. For example, food cart operators in Japan need a government permit to operate while those in India do not necessarily need to have one.
But let us say that you were able to get the freedom to operate an instant noodle stand right in your own home or in your vehicle/stand, just imagine the advantages that you could have:
At the very basic, all the ingredients that you would need are the instant noodles and the hot water itself. You don’t need to stock up on food inventories that would spoil if they are not used soon.
There would be no more preparing of vegetables or spices. All you need is to open the sachet of instant noodles and put it in a bowl or aluminum tray, pour hot water in it, wait a few minutes, and presto! It’s now ready for eating by your customers.
You also don’t need a lot of kitchen utensils. Just imagine cooking dishes besides instant noodles. You would need a knife, pan, spatula, ladle and so on. But since all you are doing is boiling water, all you need is a kettle.
Another big advantage of needing only hot water is that water can be sourced just about anywhere. You can even use water directly from the tap. Yes, the same tap where you get water to clean your dishes.
Though many instant noodle manufacturers conservatively state that the expiration date of their instant noodles to be roughly about six months, there are many articles online that state that instant noodles can last up to more than a year and even longer.
This gives you the advantage of using up all your stocks instant noodles before they expire. This is a great advantage over other cooked food that lasts for only several days at most. In the food business food spoilage is a major cost for many business owners especially for restaurateurs.
This is one problem you are not likely to encounter if you are serving instant noodles. They also do not need refrigeration. All you need are enclosed containers where rats and other human food eating insects cannot reach them and you’re all set.
This saves you on refrigeration cost. I like to highlight that refrigerators work 24/7 and the more you can prevent the usage of refrigeration, the better it would be for your business bottomline. Imagine if all your business would need is a small chiller. Just imagine your cost savings.
Although there are now gourmet instant noodles that are similarly priced just like more filling and more delicious meals, the majority of instant noodles are still cheap to buy. You therefore do not need a lot of capital to start an instant noodle stand.
Of course there would be more discerning customers who have more budgets to spend on instant noodles. I for example, love to have a lot of fried garlic in my instant noodles and would pay accordingly for some to be put in my instant noodle.
And this is the beauty of it. Because instant noodles start out at a very cheap price, there is a lot of room to add toppings in them. I have eaten in Korean restaurants and I was first amazed by their use of instant noodles to add to their expensive dishes.
But it’s not only the Koreans who are doing this, I have seen Chinese restaurants who use instant noodles in their dishes. The surprising thing is that the dishes served by these restaurants which have instant noodles on them are delicious which was not what I was expecting.
As I have said, eggs, meat, vegetables and other toppings are already being added on them. There are now even people who are adding rice with them. This is because they are so cheap that even if you add a few toppings on them, they’ll still come out as cheap.
Just like hamburgers by the Americans, Pizza by the Italians, Instant noodles are another food staple introduced by the Chinese/Asians to the world. Food stand operators and even restaurants can offer them as a cheap offering to their food lineup.
Food stand operators and even restaurants can even offer food toppings to their instant noodles like eggs, meat, vegetable or even rice. This not only makes them more delicious but more profitable to the food business owners.
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