Nissin Foods USA has recently unveiled a what for the company is a groundbreaking change to its iconic Cup Noodles ramen noodle soup packaging, announcing the replacement of the long-standing polystyrene cup with a new, environmentally friendly paper cup set to debut in early 2024. This shift marks a significant departure from tradition, as the brand has utilized the PS cup since its introduction in the U.S. back in 1973.
“Since its invention more than 50 years ago, Cup Noodles has become a cultural mainstay and a staple in households around the world,” says Michael Price, president and chief executive officer of Nissin Foods USA. “And while Cup Noodles will continue to have that same satisfying taste and iconic look, we continue to find ways to evolve the brand to support the current needs of our consumers, the environment, and the world. This updated packaging and the new paper cup marks an important milestone for Cup Noodles and a key step in our environmental commitment.”
The transition to the new packaging was done in partnership with Graphic Packaging International and involves its proprietary retail double-wall fiber-based cup. Noted President and Chief Executive Officer of GPI Michael Doss in the company’s Third Quarter 2023 Earnings Call in October, “Historically, the noodle cups have been made of foam. The fiber-based solution we developed serves as a more sustainable packaging alternative and is effective in shelf-stable retail environments. Notably, our retail cup solution for Nissin provides added convenience for the consumer as it is safe for microwave use, eliminating an extra step required meal preparation when using foam.”
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The new packaging will be rolled out across all flavors of Cup Noodles in the 16-size. Additionally, the cup will be made with 40% recycled fiber, no longer require a plastic wrap, and feature a sleeve made with 100% recycled paper. The new packaging is PS-free, removing the use of this plastic from the entire company portfolio.
As noted by Doss, for the first time ever, Cup Noodles will be microwavable, no longer requiring boiling water, thus significantly reducing cooking time, which Nissin says will allow consumers an even more convenient way to enjoy and cook their favorite instant ramen. Easily heated in two minutes and 15 seconds, the new packaging delivers a reliable, hassle-free meal option.
Says the company, its transition to a paper cup signifies a deep-seated commitment to sustainability, aligning with the company’s Earth Food Challenge 2030. Through this global initiative, Nissin aims to minimize CO2 emissions by 30% by 2030 and reach carbon neutrality by 2050. PW