Momofuku Ando established the Ando Foundation with his personal funds in 1983 in the belief that “Eating and sports are the two axles of health.” The foundation’s main activities are support for track and field events, promotion of nature activities, operation of the CUPNOODLES MUSEUMS, and an awards program that encourages creative foundational research and solid developments that lead to the creation of new food products. The NISSIN FOODS Group endorses the principles of the Ando Foundation and enthusiastically supports its activities.
Interactive Educational Food Museums
The Ando Foundation operates the CUPNOODLES MUSEUMS (Official name: The Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museums), interactive education food museums that convey the importance of invention and discovery, and provide fun opportunities to learn about a can-do spirit and creative thinking, in Ikeda City, Osaka and Yokohama City, Kanagawa prefecture.
The museums feature exhibits related to the invention and development of instant noodles, the Chicken Ramen Factory, where visitors make noodles by hand from flour, and the My CUPNOODLES Factory, where visitors select a soup and to create their own original CUP NOODLES. The CUPNOODLES MUSEUM Osaka Ikeda attracted 900,000 visitors in fiscal 2021, and 10.05 million since opening in 1999. The CUPNOODLES MUSEUM Yokohama drew 180,000 visitors in fiscal 2021, and 9.34 million since opening in 2011.
- *Both museums are operated taking measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 following the “Guidelines for Controlling the Spread of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infections in Museums” established by the Japanese Association of Museums.
Support for Sports
Since 2013, the Ando Foundation has sponsored the junior tennis player development program organized by the Japan Tennis Association. Through this one-year program, players receive training from professional youth-athletes. A one-year program is conducted to strengthen junior tennis players. Professional coaches provide instruction to players selected based on their performance, including their ranking in the national junior tennis championship. In fiscal 2019, a total of 79 players participated in three top junior camps*, 227 players in 22 national tennis camps, and 79 players in 16 overseas tours. Yosuke Watanuki, with whom NISSIN FOODS HOLDINGS concluded a sponsorship agreement in November 2017, participated in a top performer training camp in 2013.
Since 2015,the Ando Foundation, together with the Japan Association of Athletics Federations, has conducted the Ando Foundation Global Challenge Project to support overseas competition by young track and field athletes. The project supports unsponsored individuals age sixteen or older who aspire to win medals in international track and field competitions. Participants gain valuable experience by taking extended leave from school and traveling to events that draw world-class athletes. The project has provided support to a total of 48 athletes so far.
- *In fiscal 2021, to prevent the spread of COVID-19, training camps in Japan were held on smaller scales and overseas tours were cancelled. In addition, new initiatives were implemented, such as online training support and nutritional guidance.
Support for New Food Creation
With the aim of supporting the development of innovative processed foods, The SHOKUSOKAI, was founded by the Ando Foundation in 1996 in accordance with NISSIN FOODS founder Momofuku Ando’s philosophy “Create foods to serve society,” which was intended to encourage ventures and honor new food creations. Since then, the foundation has chaired the SHOKUSOKAI and enacted the Momofuku Ando Awards with the goal of encouraging creative foundational research, food product development, and venture businesses that contribute to the creation and development of new food products.
The SHOKUSOKAI supports the activities of researchers and entrepreneurs with a grand prize of JPY 10 million and awards of excellence of JPY 2 million as well as invention and discovery encouragement awards of JPY 1 million awarded as an extra prize for young researchers and young developers working at SMEs.
The grand prize in fiscal 2021 was awarded to Professor Yuji Matsuzawa (Honorary Director, Sumitomo Hospital) who discovered adiponectin* and advocated metabolic syndrome. In addition, the foundation and NISSIN FOOD PRODUCTS established the NISSIN FOOD PRODUCTS and Momofuku Ando Scholarship which supports graduate students who undertake research that contributes toward the development of food science. In fiscal 2022, scholarships with an annual value of one million yen will be given to 100 graduate students.
- *Beneficial biologically active agent secreted from fat cells
Creating Opportunities to Enjoy Nature
The Ando Foundation has supported nature-experience activities that enrich the creativity of children since its inception. Click on the following link for details.