Pot Noodle

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Pot Noodle
Pot Noodle after water etc added (King size Chicken & Mushroom).jpg
Chicken and mushroom flavour Pot Noodle made up according to instructions
Product typeInstant noodle snack food
Produced byCroespenmaen, near Crumlin, Caerphilly, Wales
CountryUnited Kingdom
Previous ownersGolden Wonder
Chicken and mushroom flavour "King" (large) Pot Noodle before water and soy sauce sachet added.

Pot Noodle is a brand of instant noodle snack foods, available in a selection of flavours and varieties. This dehydrated food consists of wide noodles, assorted dried vegetables and flavouring powder. It is prepared by adding boiling water, which after two to three minutes softens the noodles and dissolves the powdered sauce.

The product is packaged in a plastic pot, from which the prepared noodles can be eaten. Many pots contain a sachet of sauce, such as soy sauce.

Pot Noodle has been linked to lad culture, with its advertising and packaging being the source of some controversy.


Instant noodles were originally invented in 1958 by Momofuku Ando, and Cup Noodles developed by his company Nissin Foods in 1971. Golden Wonder launched the Pot Noodle brand in the United Kingdom in 1977.[1] In July 1995, Best Foods, which produces Hellmanns mayonnaise, paid then owner Dalgety plc $280 million for its Golden Wonder Pot Noodle instant hot snacks manufacturing business.[2]

Bestfoods, known as CPC international before 1997, was itself acquired by Unilever in June 2000.[3] Unilever kept the Pot Noodle brand and its sole production factory, after it sold the rest of the Golden Wonder business in January 2006 to Tayto. Golden Wonder later established another line of pot noodles called The Nation's Noodle (renamed Noodle Pot in 2016) in direct competition with their former brand.[4]


Pot Noodle harvest festival offerings, St Andrew's Southgate, London

Pot Noodles are manufactured in Croespenmaen, near Crumlin, Caerphilly, Wales, which became the topic of an advertising campaign of 2006, showing fictitious Pot Noodle mines in Wales.[5] The factory typically produces 175 million pots annually.[5] The public perception of the product was often that it was of a low quality, and only eaten as a result of laziness or poverty.[6]

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. A "GTi" variant, prepared in a microwave instead of adding boiling water, was introduced at the end of the 2000s and was the first Pot Noodle to contain real meat. In 2007, the brand changed their logo.

Pot Noodle has often given promotional gifts away, including a 'horn' and a 'spinning fork.' During the 2008 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Unilever sponsored a musical directed by David Sant, and created by advertising agency Mother, set in a Pot Noodle factory.[7] All non GTi pot noodles are suitable for vegetarians, but not for vegans.[8]


The Pot Noodle brand has been involved in a number of controversial advertising campaigns. In August 2002, a series of television adverts that described Pot Noodle as "the slag of all snacks" was withdrawn after complaints to the Independent Television Commission.[9][10]

The related poster campaign, revolving around the "Hot Noodle" range with a tagline of "hurt me, you slag" was withdrawn by Unilever after the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) upheld complaints that "the tone could be interpreted as condoning violence".[11]

In May 2005, the Advertising Standards Authority received 620 complaints, about a series of advertisements featuring a man with a large brass horn in his trousers,[12] with the suggestive 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. While it accepted the campaign was "a little crude," they deemed it harmless and said that "the timing restriction was appropriate."[13]

Pot Noodle has been linked to lad culture;[14][15] Samuel Fishwick of the Evening Standard dubbed it "traditionally 'laddy'."[14]

Related products[edit]

Golden Wonder introduced a similar convenience food "Pot Rice" at the beginning of the 1980s. Pot Rice was made from dehydrated rice, wheat protein, vegetables, and flavourings, sold in a plastic pot. Pot Rice was later manufactured by Unilever and Knorr when the Pot Noodle brand went through a series of acquisitions and takeovers in the 1990s.

Posh Noodle was a variation on the typical pot noodle, consisting of thinner, ramen like noodles and available in three Asian themed flavours, launched in 2003.[16]

Pot Rice was discontinued at the beginning of the 2000s. Pot Rice flavours have included "Chicken Risotto", "Chicken Curry", "Beef & Tomato" and "Savoury Beef". Pot Rice received a limited relaunch in 2018. "Pot Mash" was a similar branded mashed potato snack, sold by the makers of Pot Noodle in the United Kingdom and Ireland at the end of the 1990s.

"Pot Casserole" consisting of dried vegetables and soya protein was introduced during the 1980s, but discontinued before the turn of the century. "Pot Pasta" and "Pot Spaghetti" combined dried pasta pieces with a sachet of Parmesan cheese, and was available for some time in the 1990s. However, in 2017, Pot Pasta was relaunched. "Pot Sweet" was a dessert range available in four varieties, introduced in the mid 1980s, and discontinued shortly afterwards.[17]

In 2020, Lost the Pot Noodle, instant noodles in loose plastic packaging instead of a plastic pot, was launched in 3 flavours: curry, roast chicken and sweet chilli.[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Elkins, Ruth (2007-01-07). "Mr Pot Noodle dies, aged 96 | Asia | News". The Independent. Retrieved 2015-12-11.
  2. ^ "Bestfoods -- Company History". fundinguniverse.com. Retrieved 3 July 2008.
  3. ^ Journal, Elizabeth Jensen Staff Reporter of The Wall Street (1997-10-17). "CPC International Changes Company's Name to Bestfoods". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2016-09-07.
  4. ^ Kemp, Ed (2009-07-24). "Golden Wonder to take on Pot Noodle with 'The Nation's Noodle'". Marketing Magazine. Retrieved 2015-12-11.
  5. ^ a b "From Pot Noodle to pit for advert". BBC News. 2006-05-09. Retrieved 2015-12-11.
  6. ^ "The hard sell: Pot Noodle | The Guide". guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-08-25.
  7. ^ Swaine, Jon (2008-08-05). "Advertisers create Pot Noodle: The Musical". Telegraph. Retrieved 2015-12-11.
  8. ^ https://www.potnoodle.com/product-category/standard
  9. ^ Jennifer Whitehead. "Pot Noodle banned from calling itself the "slag of all snacks"". Brand Republic. Retrieved 2015-12-11.
  10. ^ "UK | Pot Noodle advert 'caused offence'". BBC News. 2002-08-19. Retrieved 2015-12-11.
  11. ^ "UK | 'Irresponsible' Pot Noodle ad withdrawn". BBC News. 2002-08-28. Retrieved 2015-12-11.
  12. ^ Brook, Stephen; correspondent, advertising (2005-05-18). "Pot Noodle's 'horn' ad off the hook". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2016-01-14.
  13. ^ "Broadcast Report". Advertising Standards Authority. 18 May 2005. Retrieved 3 March 2012.[dead link]
  14. ^ a b Fishwick, Samuel (9 June 2016). "The unlikely lads: a guide to the born-again bloke". Evening Standard. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  15. ^ Donlon, Adam (4 Mar 2016). "I tried eating stereotypical student foods for the first time". The Tab. Retrieved 27 August 2016.
  16. ^ "Our Story". potnoodle. Retrieved 2019-07-27.
  17. ^ Night Of The Trailers (2015-05-16), Golden Wonder Pot Sweet - 1985 TV Advert, retrieved 2016-09-30
  18. ^ "Lost the pot noodle | PotNoodle".

External links[edit]