Category: Best New Product
Name of Product: Mr Lee’s Noodles
Company Name: Mr Lee’s Pure Foods Co.
Applicant Name: Kasia Bigda
Company: Mr Lee’s Pure Foods Co.
The Healthful Convenient Food Revolution:
Over 100 billion instant noodles are sold globally each year, the sector dominated by ‘junk food’ brands selling products full of unhealthful ingredients. This has caused an explosion in diseases like Type-2 Diabetes, heart disease and many common forms of cancer, obesity prevalence in the UK increasing from 15% in 1993 to 27% in 2015. The NHS (National Health Service) has taken the lead in the global fight against obesity and unhealthful foods, prompted by their awareness that 53% of their 1.3 million employees are overweight or obese. With the main focus of hospitals being a place for gaining health, the NHS CQUIN 1b goal of healthier food for NHS staff, visitors and patients see’s an adjustment process towards more healthful offerings, and less foods full of sugar, salt and saturated fats.
Featured in the Sunday Times, Mr Lee’s Pure Foods fills this gap, helping to tackle the worldwide health crisis through the introduction of hot, wholesome vended foods, addressing wide consumer needs for more healthful, on-the-go solutions. Mr Lee’s offer a range of six award-winning no nasties, light-weight, 16oz gourmet noodles (and a water saving 14oz travel-sized variant) which includes two vegan flavours; with absolutely no artificial preservatives, additives, colours, flavours, TBHQs and MSGs, and soon-to-be widely recyclable materials.
Their flavours include; bestseller, the bold & vibrant Hong Kong Street Beef, soul-warming Tai Chi Chicken, fragrant Coconut Chicken Laksa, kick-ass tom yum Warrior Fighting Shrimp, and two vegan flavours: harmonious Zen Garden Vegetables and hot & sour Dragon Fire Vegetables.
Through the use of naturally gluten-free rice noodles, their entire product range contains fewer than 238 calories, their use of high-quality freeze-dried meats & vegetables maintaining nutritional goodness and physical integrity significantly better than the products offered by their competitors. Among an extension of shelf-life, their freeze-dried process allows for the use of unique, healthful ingredients, including; spring onion, broccoli, green beans, cauliflower, spinach, mushrooms and more. Their global vending strategy is based upon providing easy access to healthy, hot ready meals through contract caterers and the travel and hospitality sector.
Founded by Damien Lee, an Australian ex-pat turned serial entrepreneur who in 2014 was unexpectedly diagnosed with terminal cancer, products have been developed with a love of instant noodle soups & the realisation that, despite their popularity, existing brands were loading their products with salts, sugars and other ingredients that made them always unsavory from a health perspective. In June 2017, with the company thriving and new products launching, Damien was diagnosed throat and neck cancer entirely disconnected to his previous illness. Three surgeries and 54 treatments later Damien is now in recovery and says he doesn’t regret a thing. Having beaten cancer for the second time, Damien is more convinced than ever of the power of healthy eating and is excited to expand the brand.
Their products are a suitable hot, ready-meal alternative for consumers with dietary and lifestyle demands, including; coeliacs, dairy-free, vegans, flexitarians, time poor professionals, parents and more. In addition, Mr Lee’s are the only instant noodles certified low in sugar by Sugarwise, gluten-free with Coeliac UK, and registered with the Vegan Society, creating a new high quality standard for ready meal products adhering to environmental issues by not including additional sachets within the product (reducing waste).
The company’s products have received a number of awards and commendations in UK and abroad, including: winner of the Gold Award at the Food Talk Awards 2018 ‘Smart Tech / Kitchen Award’ for Mr Lee’s Noodle Kiosks, winner in the Asia Foods Innovation Awards 2018 in 2 categories, a finalist of the Healthy Food Guide – Best of Health Awards 2018, Food & Beverage Industry Awards 2018 Australia, Onboard Hospitality Awards 2018, IGD Awards 2018, Health and Vitality Honours 2018, FDF Awards 2018 in 3 categories, to name a few.
Airlines & Trains:
Our freeze-dried process allows for an increase in nutrition and quality, making our noodles a suitable dried, ambient product for the travel catering industry. We have partnered with concessionaires Rail Gourmet, placing our noodles across South Western Railways and East Midlands Trains rail networks in the UK, with more coming soon. Combined with the scale of Jetstar, named “Australia’s most vegan-friendly airline” after listing our vegan flavour – Zen Garden Vegetables, TUI Airways, and two additional soon confirmed airlines, Mr Lee’s Pure Foods have an unprecedented edge on global success – all within the last 12 months.
Smart Vending Kiosks:
Mr Lee’s state-of-the-art, smart, interactive Noodle Kiosks provide a piping hot, freshly-made, tasty and healthful cup noodle soup to hungry customers 24-hours a day, seven-days-a-week in locations such as universities, hospitals, corporations and military bases, etc. Vast technical and usability improvements characterise these re-conceptualised machines, able to create even more engaging, customised user experiences. These ‘noodle kiosks’ are aimed to revolutionise the industry, set to change the dynamics of the vending industry both in terms of the technical solution they represent and the high-quality, delicious product that they deliver. Beyond Kiosks, Mr Lee’s has entered retailers both here in the UK with one the country’s leading supermarkets, and down under in Australia with one of their largest supermarket chains: Woolworths, EzyMart and Metro with more coming soon.