Recently the Mainichi News on-line reported the following:
On the 12th the Nissin Food Products announced that it would carry out pilot sales of their new product "Nissin fried-noodle U-F-O sobameshi", a cup noodle which would be ready to eat if water was added and heated by a microwave oven, starting from January 3 next year in 2 Kinki Fu and 4 prefectures. This was the 3rd phase, following a series of sales carried out nationwide in July this year: the popular "Nissin cup noodle rice" and "the seafood".
This injection of a new brand-name product aimed at the further expansion of market. The popular cup noodle "U-F-O-" was made with finely minced noodle dried by hot wind, and then mixed with the dried rice. In order to give out the flavor of fried noodles, the fragrance of flied noodle was added to the sauce also. "Sobameshi" was the stir-fried noodle together with the boiled rice; it was considered having an origin in the Nagata district of Kobe city. Since there were many consumers who had got used to it, Kinki was opted for the pilot sales. A manufacturer's suggested price was 250 yen (excluding tax) per piece. There would be extensive sales all over the country next spring, the targeted annual sales was 2 billion yen.
As for the boiled rice cup noodle which had its pilot sales carried out in Kinki in August 2010, the sales in the year ending July 2011 amounted to over 5 times of the original target. Regarding the nationwide sales starting from July 2011, the aim was an annual sales of 5 billion yen . Nissin continued to develop new products and held up a 10 billion yen sales target per year in cup rice series.
Without any doubt, Japan is number one in the invention and production of cup noodles.