After a successful soft launch that turned investors’ heads, Immi has just made its official debut, offering a range of “reinvented” instant ramen noodles that are high in protein and completely plant-based. Based in San Francisco and founded by an Asian American duo, the new startup seeks to revive the stagnant instant noodle category that has fallen out of favour with increasingly health-conscious consumers.
Launched on Tuesday (January 5), Immi is a new instant ramen brand reimagining what co-founders Kevin Lee and Kevin Chanthasiriphan describe as the “one of the world’s most nostalgic and crave worthy foods”. Made with pumpkin seed protein, wheat gluten and faba bean protein, Immi’s line of instant ramen is low in carbohydrates, high in protein and completely plant-based – unlike its conventional counterparts that have gained a bad rep over the years for its nutrition-lacking ultra-processed ingredient label.
Coming in three flavours – black garlic “chicken”, tom yum “shrimp” and spicy “beef” – each serving of Immi is packed with a whopping 31 grams of protein, 9 grams of fibre and just 9 grams of carbs to make it even suitable for keto folk. By comparison, traditional instant noodle brands have just a fifth of the protein content, a third of fibre and 75% more carbs.
We are passionate about instant noodles and have been eating them our entire lives since we were children, so we’re looking forward to sharing our take on better-for-you instant ramen.Kevin Chanthasiriphan, Co-Founder, Immi
They are currently available via the brand’s direct-to-consumer website, with a 9-pack subscription box sold for US$39.05 while variety pack subscriptions start from US$52.30. One-time purchases, on the other hand, are priced slightly higher. Though far more expensive than traditional instant noodles on the market, Immi believes that the “preservative-filled, sodium bomb” trade-off makes their healthier version worth it.
Consumers, who are increasingly concerned about immunity and well-being in the age of the pandemic, have also shown willingness to pay premiums for health-conscious products – no doubt one of the key reasons why Immi turned investors’ heads during its three-week soft launch. According to a Forbes report, among those backing the brand include Magic Spoon, Caviar, Thrive Market, Collaborative Fund, Siddhi Capital and Pear Venture.
The inspiration behind this new venture? Immi’s co-founders, who go by “KLee” and “KChan” say that it’s all about paying homage to their favourite foods rooted in Asian culture by upgrading them with higher quality ingredients with no sacrifice on taste or experience.
Consumer preferences for nutrition and wellness around the world have changed. We’ve all grown up, but instant ramen hasn’t. It’s a category waiting to be revitalised.Kevin Lee, Co-Founder, Immi
“Kevin and I have been connected to the Asian food scene from farm-to-table since we were children. His grandparents are produce farmers in Taiwan, my grandmother ran a hawker stall selling noodles in Thailand, and my dad ran an Asian supermarket and a Thai restaurant concept in Los Angeles,” says KChan. “We are passionate about instant noodles and have been eating them our entire lives since we were children, so we’re looking forward to sharing our take on better-for-you instant ramen.”
“Consumer preferences for nutrition and wellness around the world have changed. We’ve all grown up, but instant ramen hasn’t. It’s a category waiting to be revitalised,” added KLee.
“We started immi to help our families better manage their health conditions arising from poor nutrition and unhealthy diets. To do that, we’ve reimagined instant ramen from the ground up to bring a healthier and more nutritious version of instant ramen to the world.”
Lead image courtesy of Immi.