Pot Noodle

Pot Noodle
A "Hot Noodle" variety of the snack

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 soya pieces, 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 by Momofuku Ando as Cup Noodle. The 'Pot' was developed in South Wales by Errol Barker. 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 Noodles[1] in direct competition with their old brand.[2]

Pot Noodles are manufactured in Croespenmaen, near Crumlin, Caerphilly, Wales,[3] 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.[4]

Pot Noodle has often given promotional gifts away, including a 'horn' and a 'spinning fork'.

Pot Noodle: The Musical

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.[5]


In 2005, the Advertising Standards Authority banned a commercial described as tasteless and offensive for the brand. The commercial features a man at a bar making friends as he conceals a horn out of his underwear. He knocks the horn onto a woman as the text "Have you got the Pot Noodle horn?" appeared on screen. The ASA moved the controversial ad to late-night showings after 9:00 PM. However, this was not the first Pot Noodle commercial to be banned. Posters promoting Pot Noodle with the phrase "Hurt me you slag" were withdrawn.

Current UK flavours

  • 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
  • Bombay Bad Boy (Black)
  • Doner Kebab (Black with neon writing)[6]
  • Sticky Rib (White and Red)
  • Pot Noodle In a Mug, a Cup-a-Soup style packet variant with less noodles, in 4 flavours: Tomato & Herb, Spicy Curry, Chinese Chicken and Roast Chicken

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 & Mint


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
  • Kids Pots, smaller versions designed for children
  • Pot Fun, pack of 4 smaller versions of the regular pot
  • Posh Noodle, with narrower noodles, designed to be more upmarket
  • 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 Noodle GTi
  • Pot Sweet, dessert rather than savoury flavours
  • "Wot? Not in a Pot Noodle", instant noodles in a packet rather than a plastic pot.

See also

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.



External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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