The best way to Construct a Grocery Model
"When you're in the instant noodle aisle of an Asian supermarket, that's the most incredible thing," says chef and Future Noodles founder Carl Clarke. "It only makes you smile because you don't know where to start. They buy things by the way they look and the shape of the box. And then you go to Sainsbury and it's pretty depressing."
Clarke, who admits he made a living on spicy Nongshim Shin Cup noodles when he worked "ridiculous hours" in the kitchen, is fascinated by the world of instant noodles. “I really enjoy the personality behind them – a bit of fun there, a bit of personality in and around the flavors, and almost a mythical type of culture,” he explains. "People are really into these things."
Packet noodles are a lot of fun, but they are not necessarily the healthiest choice of food. So Clarke came up with the idea of creating a brand that embodied everything he loved about them, but with a new focus on health and sustainability.
Despite his experience as a chef and restaurant founder, Clarke said it was difficult to find the sweet spot between something that was delicious but also good for people. "We thought we cracked it, but then it wasn't very healthy so we had to go back and find out what was brilliant and transform it into something that is still brilliant and has all of the health benefits," explains the founder, who also got feedback from his friends in the food industry – people he says are the toughest critics. "I know how to make things tasty, I have a good idea of the science, but the actual practicality that came to life has been a journey that has involved a lot of very smart people."