Inspired by mom: Naughty Noah eyes ramen category disruption with Vietnamese Pho noodle soups

By Stephen Daniells contact

- Last updated on GMT

Inspired by mom: Naughty Noah eyes ramen category disruption with Vietnamese Pho noodle soups
Noodles are one of the hottest restaurant trends, but the retail ramen category has not enjoyed the same explosive growth. Houston-based Naughty Noah’s is hoping to change that with Vietnamese Pho noodle soups inspired by mom.

“Our goal is to disrupt the $40 billion instant noodle market by offering a delicious, convenient and nutritious Vietnamese Pho noodle soup to consumers everywhere,”​ said JimmyTay Trinh, founder and CEO of Naughty Noah’s​.

“We created our Pho based on my mother’s authentic home recipes that deliver the rich culinary tradition of Vietnamese cuisine, combining delicious flavors that capture our heritage with spices that have inherent health benefits to deliver a tastier and healthier noodle meal than anything on the market today.” 

The company launched at Expo West 2017 with three products – Chicka What, Original Beast, and Victory Veg – and Naughty Noah’s is returning to Anaheim this year to launch three new flavors: Holy Hot Pepper, Curry Masala, and Don’t Be a Boar.

The recipes are all inspired by Trinh’s mother, who owns a Vietnamese-style restaurant in California, but the brand is named after his son. The company started off as direct-to-consumer, then was available through Amazon, and is now expanding into traditional retail with Central Market​. More independent natural and organic are lined up, while Trinh is also targeting strategic partnerships with the likes of Target and Starbucks.

A hot trend

Naughty Noah's all products

In culinary circles, Ramen is one of the hottest menu trends of 2017, according to the National Restaurant Association​.

On the other hand, demand at retail for instant noodles has declined slightly in the US over the past five years, with the World Instant Noodles Association (WINA) estimating that the US consumed 4.1 billion servings in 2016, down from 4.34 billion servings in 2012.​ China and Hong Kong remains the leading market by some distance, although demand there has also declined over the past half-decade. In 2012, demand was 44 billion servings in China/Hong Kong, but that declined to 38.5 billion in 2016.

By targeting Millennials, Trinh sees huge potential for disruption and his brand’s differentiators are the natural and organic flavors and spices such as turmeric, cloves, cinnamon, star anise, and cardamom to name but a few, and the use of avocado and coconut oil. Also, the products are made with rice noodles, so are gluten-free. They are also vegan non-GMO, MSG-free, soy, fish and preservative-free.

All flavors are available for purchase in six-pack cases for $29.95 per case or in a variety pack of six. The best seller is the variety pack, a six pack containing two each of the Chicka What, Original Beast, and Victory Veg, said Trinh.  

“Noodles are easy to eat, and people are already familiar with them. It’s a $40 billion global category, with a market cap of $52 billion predicted for 2022,”​ said Trinh.

Even with such a big prize in his sights, Tay is eying other opportunities for recipes inspired by his mother, from snacks and ready-to-eat meals to teas and coffees.

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