The Meet The Manufacturer with Nissin Japan really opened some great doors – and this is another one. They put me in contact with Nissin Mexico, and now we’re starting a new Meet The Manufacturer spotlight series today! I conducted an interview with Sandra Gazca, the Marketing Manager for Mexico and Central America.
Interview With Nissin Mexico
THE RAMEN RATER> Thank you for agreeing to this interview! To start, can you tell my readers about the history of Nissin in Mexico?
NISSIN MEXICO> We can say that in Mexico, we are actually new. We established a plant in 2005, and currently we have the 60% SOM in the southern part of the country and 11% SOM in the country, but we keep growing.
TRR> What was the first product you produced?
NISSIN MEXICO> The Company was founded in 1948 by Momofuku Ando, right after the WWII, and it was in 1958 when Mr. Ando developed the formula for the “Chikin Ramen”, the first instant noodle soup which is now sold by the company as Cup Noodles. Initially they were sold as a luxury item; through time, the product gained popularity and today it is part of Japanese Cuisine, and has its main consumption among young people.
TRR> Your company is located in Mexico. Can you tell us a little about your country and the area you’re located in?
NISSIN MEXICO> Nissin Foods Mexico is located in Lerma, Estado de México. Lerma is a city and municipality located just east of Toluca and 54 km west of Mexico City. Mexico is the second largest economy in Latin America and is abundant in resources it is the world’s greatest producer of silver, and also produces zinc, lead, gold, mercury, coal and copper.
According to the Mexico’s Secretary of Economy, Office of Representation in Japan, from 2005 to January 2013, Japanese companies’ investments in Mexico accounted more than US$9.6 billion in sectors such as automotive and auto parts, but also electronics, metallurgic and machinery projects, agribusiness, food processing and high technology manufacturing.
To November 2012, Mexico-Japan bilateral trade reached 20.2 billion dollars, an increase of 7.8% from the same period last year. Mexico’s exports to Japan increased by 10.6% reaching US$ 4,033 million, while imports from Japan increased by 7.1% to US$ 16,179 million. In 2011, Mexico-Japan bilateral trade reached US$ 20.5 billion, a 10.6% increase compared with 2010.
Official name: United Mexican States
Capital: Mexico City
Official language: Spanish
TRR> Can you tell us about the varieties of noodles you make?
NISSIN MEXICO> Based on the Global strategy of Nissin Group, we locally adapted flavors by focusing in offer a big taste differentiated by packaging. In Mexico we have five flavors of regular Cup Noodles, shrimp, spicy shrimp, beef, chicken and seafood. We also have the hottest of our noodles, Habanero with Lime Cup Noodles, which have three different flavors, sea food, chicken and shrimp. And least, we have Hot Sauce Cup Noodles, which is the perfect soup for those who enjoy their food with a slight touch of hotness, it comes in three different flavors, which are chicken, shrimp and beef, and they also include extra hot sauce so the consumer can make it as hot as he or she wants.
TRR> How many noodle products do you produce every year?
NISSIN MEXICO> Nissin Foods is the No.1 Cup Noodles Company, with the most sales worldwide. With nearly 50 years of innovation in flavors, Nissin Foods, through its Cup Noodles has sold 40 billion units in more than 80 countries all around the world.
TRR> How does your noodle making process differ from other instant noodle manufacturers?
NISSIN MEXICO> Nissin Foods makes all of its products with 100% natural wheat, which provides energy, also Nissin develops and operates rigorous quality assurance tests, which detect dangerous substances, monitoring the handling of food from the field to the table, Nissin Cup Noodles contain no preservatives or chemical additives, the principle of conservation is based on the low amount of water contained in the product; and vegetables are also dehydrated. All ingredients used are approved by the Health Regulations for human consumption.
TRR> Do your products have primarily Mexican tastes in mind or are there varieties that bring International tastes to the table?
NISSIN MEXICO> In Mexico, and in every place we sell Cup Noodles, we have tropicalized our flavors to the local palate. Here in Mexico we have flavors such as Habanero with lime and Hot Sauce, in our Cup Noodles that give that familiar taste to our consumers. For us flavor is one of the most important values in our products, therefore we constantly develop products and flavors to satisfy the cravings of our consumers.
TRR> Are any of your varieties really spicy?
NISSIN MEXICO> In Mexico, we have Cup Noodles Habanero, which is the perfect combination among the classic flavors of Nissin soups and habanero chili. It is not only the spiciest broth, it also contains inside an envelope of Habanero sauce to make its hotness as intense as you want. You can find three different presentations of Habanero, Chicken, Shrimp and Seafood.
TRR> A lot of people are concerned with their sodium intake. How would you recommend people enjoy your product as part of a healthy meal?
NISSIN MEXICO> It is important to say that, Nissin Foods makes all of its products with 100% natural wheat, which provides with energy and makes them part of the cereal food group. The consumption of products such as Cup Noodles can be included in a balanced diet without being harmful to health, if consumed in adequate amounts, in a balanced diet and as part of an active lifestyle and healthy .
Our Cup Noodles do not contain preservatives or chemical additives; the principle of conservation is based on the low amount of water contained in the product, vegetables are also dehydrated. All ingredients used are approved by strict Health Regulations for human consumption.
TRR> Are you involved in in your local community or participate in charities?
NISSIN MEXICO> Since WWII, Nissin constantly struggles to fight against hunger across multiple resources. Nissin is part of The World Instant Noodles Association, which aims to improve safety and quality of instant noodles and also to provide victims of natural disasters with instant noodles. The latest natural disaster we send Cup Noodles to was Fujian Typhoon in China, last July; we sent around 120,000 soups to de zone. Before that we have helped in other places such as Ecuador (2016) after an earthquake, Tamil Nadu Flood in India (2015), Nepal Earthquake (2015), Katrina and Rita Hurricanes in the USA (2005), among other disasters.
TRR> Are there any new products coming soon?
NISSIN MEXICO> Yes. In Nissin Foods Mexico we are preparing the launchings that will be on the market by next year (2017). We worked on a product, Cup Noodles Gourmet, that it is outside the “instant noodles” category and will belong to the “ready meal “category, which actually in Mexico is having a CARG of 6%.; we will offer new flavors, targeted to the young adults, who are searching to compensate a hard daily work. Cup Noodles Gourmet is perceived by the consumer with a plus, because of its unique benefits and differentiations which are:
• Flavor: Spicy Shrimp broth.
• Size: Bigger Shrimps plus more vegetables.
• Pre- cooked noodles made by wheat flour.
Cup Noodles Gourmet, also involves a new technology on the cup, Eco-style that no other product in Mexico has. This ecofriendly cup reduces wastes dramatically, positioning Nissin Foods as a pioneer on introducing this materials and follow the waste reduction trends.
TRR> In what countries are your products popular? Do people enjoy them differently in different places?
NISSIN MEXICO> The place where se sell the most Cup Noodles is China, with 40,430 units, followed by Indonesia with 13,200 sold units and Japan with 5,540 units. We have the record of 40 billion Cup Noodles sold around the world. We are present in more than 80 countries around the world, in each place we detect the favorite flavors for the local palates and we adapt our products to them.
TRR> When you make noodles for yourself, what do you like to add to them to make them extra special?
NISSIN MEXICO> The Cup Noodles for the Mexican market has already lemon and spicy, this means that it has the Mexican flavor that is part of the Mexican gastronomic culture.
THE RAMEN RATER> Thank you very much for this opportunity to learn about Nissin Mexico and your products!
With that, let’s begin Meet The Manufacturer! I want to thank Sandra Gazca, Adriana De Vizcaya and Daisuke Okabayashi for making this happen.