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Pot Noodle is a brand of ramen-style instant noodle snack foods, available in a selection of flavours and varieties. Its dehydrated mixture consists of wide noodles, textured vegetable protein (replaced by meat in the "GTi" variant), assorted dried vegetables and flavouring powder. The product is prepared by adding boiling water, which softens the noodles and dissolves the powdered sauce. The product is packaged in a sturdy plastic pot, from which the prepared noodles can be eaten, and each pot also regularly contains a sachet of sauce, such as soy sauce.
Instant noodles were originally developed in 1958 by Momofuku Ando as Cup Noodle. Golden Wonder launched the Pot Noodle brand in the United Kingdom in 1977. The Golden Wonder brand was acquired by Unilever in 1995. Golden Wonder was then sold to Tayto in 2006, with Unilever retaining the Pot Noodle brand. Golden Wonder has since established another line of pot noodles called The Nation's Noodle in direct competition with their old brand.
Pot Noodles are manufactured in Croespenmaen, near Crumlin, Caerphilly, Wales, which became the topic of a 2006 advertising campaign, showing fictitious Pot Noodle mines in Wales. The factory typically produces 155 million pots annually.
Around 2006, Pot Noodle's recipe was changed to make the product healthier. This mostly involved cutting down on the amount of salt in the product.
In 2007, the brand's logo was changed.
Despite the product's high sales volume, it was voted the "most hated brand" in the UK in a 2004 poll.
Pot Noodle has often given promotional gifts away, including a 'horn' and a 'spinning fork'.
Pot Noodle: The Musical 
The Pot Noodle brand has been involved in a number of controversial advertising campaigns.
A 2002 poster campaign revolving around the "Hot Noodle" range, with a tagline of "hurt me, you slag" withdrawn by Unilever after the Advertising Standards Authority upheld complaints that "the tone could be interpreted as condoning violence".
In 2005, the Advertising Standards Authority received 620 complaints about a series of advertisements based around the slogan "Have you got the Pot Noodle horn?". Some of the complaints described them as "tasteless and offensive". The three advertisements had been already approved for restricted times, primarily after the 9:00pm watershed. The ASA did not uphold the complaints. In its decision, while it accepted the campaign was "a little crude", that they were harmless and "the timing restriction was appropriate".
Current UK flavours 
As of October 2012[update], the Pot Noodle flavours available in the UK were:
- Beef & Tomato (brown)
- Sweet & Sour (light blue)
- Original Curry (creamy yellow)
- Chicken & Mushroom (green)
- Chinese Chow Mein (dark blue)
- Sweet & Spicy (orange)
- Southern Fried Chicken (red)
- Chilli Beef (Brown and orange)
- Bombay Bad Boy (black)
- Sticky Rib (white and red)
- Jamaican Jerk (black, green and yellow)
- Piri Piri Chicken (dark red)
- Pot Noodle GTi
Discontinued UK flavours 
- Cheese and Tomato
- Sausage and Tomato
- Hot Chicken Curry
- Chicken Satay
- Tikka Masala
- Seedy Sanchez (Mexican fajita flavour)
- Christmas Dinner (limited edition released winter 2010)
- Bacon Sizzler (withdrawn due to health concerns regarding Sudan I dye in chilli powder used to manufacture the sauce)
- Pizza (available for a limited time in mid-2000)
- Turkey and Stuffing (limited edition festive flavour released in the mid-90s)
- Barbecue (BBQ)
- Lamb Hotpot
- Doner Kebab (black with neon writing)
- Bananas (limited edition fun flavour released 2003)
- Garlic and Herb
- Shanaynay (Russian limited edition 2011)
The Pot Noodle brand also used to sell other similar snack foods, including:
- King size Pot Noodles, holding 25% more contents than an average pot (still sold)
- Kids Pots, smaller versions designed for children
- Pot Fun, pack of four smaller versions of the regular pot
- Posh Noodle, with narrower noodles, designed to be more upmarket
- Pot Light, a low-calorie option from the mid-90s which included Chinese Chicken, and had softer pasta which became a kind of day-glo mousse when hot water was added.
- Pot Noodle In a Mug, a Cup-a-Soup style packet variant with less noodles, in four flavours: Tomato & Herb, Spicy Curry, Chinese Chicken and Roast Chicken.
- Pot Rice
- Pot Chilli
- Pot Curry, a variation of Pot Rice with Indian flavours
- Pot Mash
- Pot Casserole
- Pot Spaghetti
- Pot Pasta (re-established as The Nation's Pasta in August 2009).
- Pot Sweet, dessert rather than savoury flavours
- "Wot? Not in a Pot Noodle", instant noodles in a packet rather than a plastic pot.
- Pot Saucy, a saucy variation of Pot Noodle.
In popular culture 
Pot Noodle has been derided or used as a punchline by many British television comedies, generally with an implication that the snack food is of a low quality, and is only eaten as a result of laziness or poverty. In the Red Dwarf episode "Marooned" (1989), the character Lister chooses to eat dog food over a Pot Noodle, after not having eaten for six days. In the episode "Demons and Angels" (1992) Lister and Cat eat a synthetically enhanced replicated Pot Noodle which they are amazed to find actually tastes edible.
In an episode of The Office, Finchy tells a story where he describes a colleague as looking like he spent the previous night having "a Pot Noodle and a wank".
In Douglas Adams' 1988 novel The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul, detective Dirk Gently encounters (and subsequently has his nose broken by) a television-addicted boy who survives on nothing but Pot Noodle.
In the children's novels Sea Djinn (2009), Fire Djinn (2010) and Storm Djinn (2010) by Linda Davies, the protagonists frequently consume Pot Noodles during the course of their adventures.
See also 
- Cup noodles
- IndoMie Mi Goreng
- Koka noodles
- Maggi noodles
- Mr. Noodles
- Sapporo Ichiban
- Shin Cup
- Shin ramyun
- Super Noodles
- Wai-Wai (food)
- Banham, Mark (7 October 2010). "Pot Noodle launches campaign for GTi range". Marketing Magazine. Retrieved 3 March 2012.
- Elkins, Ruth (7 January 2007). "Mr Pot Noodle dies, aged 96". The Independent. Retrieved 25 January 2012.
- "The Nation's Noodle website". Retrieved 8 December 2010.
- Ed Kemp (24 July 2009). "Golden Wonder to take on Pot Noodle with 'The Nation's Noodle'". Marketing magazine. Retrieved 8 December 2010.
- "From Pot Noodle to pit for advert". BBC News. 9 May 2006. Retrieved 5 May 2008.
- "Pot Noodle UK's most hated brand". Daily Mail. 28 September 2004.
- Swaine, Jon (5 August 2008). "Advertisers create Pot Noodle: The Musical". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 3 March 2012.
- Jennifer Whitehead (19 August 2002). "Pot Noodle banned from calling itself the "slag of all snacks"". brandrepublic.com.
- "Pot Noodle advert 'caused offence'". BBC News. 19 August 2002.
- "'Irresponsible' Pot Noodle ad withdrawn". BBC News. 28 August 2002.
- "Broadcast Report". Advertising Standards Authority. 18 May 2005. Retrieved 3 March 2012.
- Sturgis, John (24 March 2009). "Kebab just add hot water". The Sun (London). Retrieved 3 March 2012.