Will Nissin’s New “Gaming Cup Noodle” Spur You to Victory?

Will Nissin’s New “Gaming Cup Noodle” Spur You to Victory?

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Nissin Gaming Cup Noodle
Picture: Nissin
Gamers: would you eat noodles with caffeine and niacin if it meant the difference between victory and defeat? Nissin is betting you will.

Nissin, the Japanese company behind the world-famous Cup Noodle, has a history of releasing new products to get people’s attention. Their new product is no exception: a cross between their flagship product and an energy drink.

Gaming Cup Noodle’s two flavors

Nissin Gaming Cup Noodle: Energy Garlic and Black Pepper Yakisoba (left) and Energy Ginger Keema Curry (right).
Nissin Gaming Cup Noodle: Energy Garlic and Black Pepper Yakisoba (left) and Energy Ginger Keema Curry (right). (Picture: Nissin)

Nissin is no stranger to instant noodles. In fact, founder Andou Monofuku invented them in 1958. Since then, through a combination of new products and clever marketing, the company has managed to rule the instant noodle roost ever since.

Its fortunes only seem to be on the rise lately, as well – especially outside of Japan. In the quarter ending March 2023, the company reported a colossal 43.8% increase in overseas sales, with a 60.4% runup in the Americas alone.

But will its latest product aimed at gamers keep them buzzing? Or will the pros refuse to level up?

As its name denotes, the new product, Gaming Cup Noodle, is aimed at video game players who take their pastime seriously. It comes in two flavors. The Garlic and Black Pepper Yakisoba variety uses a soy-flavored base. Meanwhile, the Ginger Keema Curry (a Southeast Asian specialty typically made with beef mince) uses an onion, tomato, and soy meat base with rice.

Both products are designed to be “sauceless” (汁がない) so that they don’t spill on keyboards, controllers, or other equipment. In other words, the perfect food to eat while hanging in a lobby.

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Caffeine + niacin for that classic noodle buzz

Now, you might wonder: What makes these “gamer” Cup Noodle? Well, that would come from the other ingredients they’ve stuffed into these bad boys.

Each container of Gaming Cup Noodle comes with an unspecified amount of caffeine, arginine, and niacin. Bodybuilders typically use L-arginine as a muscle-building supplement and may also lower blood pressure. Some bodybuilders also take niacin as a performance enhancer.

Both caffeine and L-arginine are standard energy drink ingredients. So in other words, Gaming Cup Noodle is an edible cup of Monster.

Want to try it for yourself? Gaming Cup Noodle goes on sale exclusively in Japan starting September 18th, 2023. No word yet on an international release date (if any).

Nissin’s funny bone

This isn’t Nissin’s first jaunt into new flavor territory. Recently, it announced a variation of its flagship Cup Noodle that switches up the traditional dashi and stock base in favor of a tomato-based Italian seafood feel. Basically, it’s cioppino in a cup. Other flavors on the market currently include Tantanmen (spicy Chinese noodles), spicy curry, and cheese curry.

The company’s marketing department also loves flooding Twitter with joke products that it has no intention of making. Its last successful viral fake-out: a measuring cup whose sole purpose is preparing just the right amount of hot water for your instant ramen.

A subsequent but less successful campaign was the Cup Noodle fork made out of…noodles. The monstrosity looks like someone turned Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy into cutlery.

Nissin hasn’t always hit PR home runs, however. In 2019, the company found itself in the hot seat when it released an ad with a light-skinned Naomi Osaka. The company subsequently apologized and promised to pay more attention to diversity issues in the future.

A Forgotten Samurai Energy Drink

Sources

「日清ゲーミングカップヌードル エナジーガーリック&黒胡椒焼そば」 「日清ゲーミングカレーメシ エナジージンジャーキーマカレー」(9月18日発売). Nissin

大坂なおみ日清CMのホワイトウォッシング問題に対する海外の報道(海外の反応). Kaikore

日清食品の海外売上高2430億円、44%増. NNN Asia

Clayton’s Health Facts: L-Arginine. Bodybuilding.com

Niacin. Mayo Clinic

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Jay Allen

Jay is a resident of Tokyo where he works as a reporter for Unseen Japan and as a technial writer. A lifelong geek, wordsmith, and language fanatic, he has level N1 certification in the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) and is fervently working on his Kanji Kentei Level 2 certification.

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