Cup Noodle’s new ‘premium’ shark fin and softshell turtle soup flavors raise eyebrows
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Cup Noodle’s new ‘premium’ shark fin and softshell turtle soup flavors raise eyebrows

INSTANT noodle brand Cup Noodle, well-loved among penny-pinching university students worldwide, has announced a ‘luxury’ line of flavors to appeal to more refined consumers.

According to its manufacturer Nissin, the first two flavors to be debuted in the “Cup Noodle Rich” line are “Luxury Thickness Shark Fin Soup Flavor” and “Luxury Broth Softshell Turtle Soup Flavor”.

It’s claimed that each cup contains 1,000 mg of collagen, making for a thicker, heartier soup. The high-end ramen, scheduled to be rolled out on April 11, will be retailed at 230 yen (US$2) – an additional 50 yen compared to regular Cup Noodles.

Perhaps they hope to attract a new market of consumers who enjoy the dishes, but have abstained from them due to the increasing taboo on consuming actual exotic animals.

Cup Noodle’s take on the highly-controversial shark fin soup will not contain any real shark fin, but rather an imitation of it made from gelatin, served in a Chinese-style chicken and pork soup base mixed with homemade oyster sauce.

However, the softshell turtle variant, featuring a Japanese-style bonito and ginger-based broth, includes a questionable ingredient: “softshell turtle powder”. So ethical consumers may want to avoid that particular flavor.

Even if no wild animals are included in the products, wildlife protection advocates are definitely not amused by Nissin’s decision:

Besides its core consumer base of youths, Nissin hopes that the new flavors will tap into the seniors market, who probably usually avoid instant noodles due to its high amount of sodium and tendency to cause high blood pressure.

Those of you excited to try the new flavors should note that they will only be marketed in Japan for the foreseeable future. The company also said that they may add more flavors to the line if it proves popular.

The east Asian country is certainly no stranger to controversies involving the consumption of wild animals, as whale meat is still a fairly common commodity there. Most recently, Japan faced a storm of criticism for killing 333 minke whales, including some 157 pregnant females, near Antarctica.