South Korea’s ‘King of Instant Noodles’ Passes Away at 91

South Korea’s ‘King of Instant Noodles’ Passes Away at 91South Korea’s ‘King of Instant Noodles’ Passes Away at 91
Kimberly Nguyen
April 6, 2021
Shin Choon-ho, 91, founder of the wildly successful food and beverage company, Nongshim, died last Saturday of a chronic illness.
Noodle king: Known as the “King of instant noodles,” Shin was the chairman of the South Korean-based company for 29 years, having founded it in 1965, according to the Korea Times.
  • Born in December of 1930 in Ulsan, South Korea, he was one of eight siblings.
  • In 1958, he attended Dong-A University in Busan before traveling to Japan to help his eldest brother, Shin Kyuk-ho, the late founder of conglomerate company Lotte Corporation, with his business upon graduation, according to Korea JoongAng Daily.
  • He found a special interest in instant noodles while working in Japan. Following an argument with Kyuk-ho, Shin ultimately left to create his own company.
  • Originally called the Lotte Food Industrial Company, it was later renamed to its current Nongshim brand in 1978, meaning “farmer’s heart,” according to the Manila Bulletin.
His work: Shin was always insistent on the company creating its own recipes and technology.
  • He’s responsible for leading a team of researchers to test new recipes involving more than 20 types of chili to create a unique South Korean noodle, according to Straits Times.
  • Nongshim’s arguably most popular product is Shin Ramyun, an instant noodle product launched in the mid-1980s.
  • Last year alone, the noodle made the company about $390 million in overseas sales.
His legacy: Shin is survived by his wife, three sons and two daughters. The company will be led by Shin’s son, Dong-won.
  • Before his death, the founder also donated about $886,000 to Seoul National University Hospital to show his appreciation to the medical staff who have supported him for so long.
  • Shin’s last words to his family were “to love each other,” according to Nongshim.
  • He also had parting words for the employees of his company: “Grow Nongshim in the world with the best quality built out of honesty.”
  • His funeral will be held Tuesday.
Featured Image via Nongshim (left), OpenFoodFacts (CC BY-SA 3.0) (right)
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