Today, we start a new Meet The Manufacturer! This time its a US company called Myojo USA down in California. They produce fresh ramen, udon and yakisoba varieties. I conducted an interview with Mr. Taku Yokoyama, President of Myojo Foods USA –
THERAMENRATER> To start, can you give a little background on how Myojo was founded and a little about its history in Japan?
MYOJO USA> We are a company of noodle-lovers and have been making them for over 25 years. Myojo Foods was founded in Japan in the year 1950 and specialized in making dry and instant noodle products. 41 years later, Myojo Foods looked to bring that love of noodles to the US by collaborating with Japanese food distributor, JFC International, and establish Myojo USA in Chino, California! Unlike its Japanese counterpart, Myojo USA focuses on crafting fresh noodles for restaurants and households all over the globe! Our love and appreciation of noodles did not go unnoticed, either. In 2007, Nissin Foods welcomed us into their family by making us their subsidiary!
TRR> For those who might not be familiar with all of them, what ranges of noodle products to you offer in the United States?
MYOJO USA> There are many kinds of ramen noodles, such as thin noodles, medium thick, thick noodles, wavy, straight, etc.
We recommend the medium thick wavy noodles. in the United States.
Medium thick wavy noodles are used in many ramen shops and are also used in ramen products in supermarkets. Next most popular noodle is Tonkotsu Noodles (thin, white straight noodles). The reason is that the most popular ramen in the United States so far is Tonkotsu ramen. The soup is creamy and most flavorful. This style of noodles is a traditional noodle that originated in Fukuoka, Japan. It is used by Ippudo and Ichiran, a famous ramen shop in New York.
TRR> How do your products differ from instant noodles?
MYOJO USA> Our company is a fresh (frozen) noodle manufacturer, which is very different from instant noodles, which are dry noodles. Put another way, our ramen is almost exactly the same as the ramen we eat at a ramen restaurant.
TRR> When and why was there a need for Myojo in the United States?
MYOJO USA> We originally started the business because there was a needs for udon noodles in the United States. Nowadays, Japanese food is very popular in the United States. The need for ramen is especially great. In addition, there is a need for yakisoba and gyoza dough.
TRR> I know that the varieties available in Japan and the products in the United States differ quite a bit. Why is that?
MYOJO USA> When it comes to dry noodle, the product variety is very different between Japan and the US, but our company does a lot of fresh noodle and the concept is authentic Japan. Our products are made with the same taste as the Japanese ones. Of course, the
People’s tastes change between Japan and the United States, so we develop our products with that in mind.
TRR> How do you determine when it is time to retire a variety and how do you go about determining a new one to offer?
MYOJO USA> Of course we look at the sales situation, but we also look at trends in Japan and noodle trends in the US.
When it comes to new products, I’ve been paying attention to the changing needs of people’s changing lifestyles, especially in the corona situation recently. Under the current circumstances, I believe that noodle can offer a new and different value proposition.
TRR> I am often asked if I am worried about sodium levels in all the different instant noodles from around the world I review. How would you recommend people balance their enjoyment of instant noodles and keeping them as part of a healthy meal?
MYOJO USA> The general ramen has a lot of sodium, and if you want a healthy ramen, you can take in a lot of vegetables or recommend a light soup base.
In Japan, There are ramen using tomato soup base and additive-free soup base, which are popular among health-conscious people.
TRR> I’ve noticed many noodle manufacturers are in Southern California. Aside from the fact that it never rains there, why was this the spot you picked for your factory?
MYOJO USA> Around 1990, we were in the process of researching a noodle factory and found a cheap, reasonably sized warehouse in Chino. We had to reinforce the floor of the warehouse and install water, drainage and electrical systems.
The factory was converted to noodle production specifications.
TRR> Is your product made completely in the United States?
MYOJO USA> Almost, we import a small raw materials from overseas country
TRR> How many servings of noodles do you produce annually?
MYOJO USA> About 35mill pieces
TRR> Are noodles the only products you manufacture?
MYOJO USA> Yes Ramen, Yakisoba, Udon
TRR> Can you tell my readers about any new and exciting products to look for soon?
MYOJO USA> Fresh Cooked Ramen Noodle. We call this LL ramen noodle. LL means long life.
・More authentic quality (texture and soup) than instant noodles
・Long term storage at room temperature
2) Customer Benefit:
・Less mess in the kitchen at night (more work)
・Reasonable food ($2.99 – $3.19)
・Products similar to the taste of a noodle shop.
We want to sell this product not only in the physical store, but also in the EC.
We will launch early next year.
TRR> Where can folks find your products?
MYOJO USA> We sell mainly in Asian markets in the United States.
Please take a look at our website and Instagram.
TRR> Finally, when you enjoy instant noodles, what kind do you like and what do you add (if anything) to them to make them your own?
MYOJO USA> Depending on the soup base of ramen,
I put a little bonito dashi and garlic paste in Tonkotsu ramen and Miso ramen.
Add ramen pepper to Shoyu ramen.
It is also possible to enjoy it by putting the spicy flavor or flavorful oil. (Black Garlic oil, Onion oil, etc.)
Add the basic toppings such as cha-shu, scallions, menma, naruto and boiled eggs.
THERAMENRATER> Thank you for this opprtunity for my readers and I to learn more about Myojo USA!