People’s Champion finalist 2018: Mr Lee’s Noodles
Specialising in healthy, gluten-free and low sugar premium pot noodles, does this international food brand serve as your People's Champion?
Start-up name: Mr Lee’s Noodles
Founder: Damien Lee
Started in: 2015
Based in: Bournemouth
Business description: Food brand specialising in healthy, gluten-free premium instant noodles
The Mr Lee’s Noodles story:
‘No worries, eat happy’ – this is the tag line of Mr Lee’s Noodles and it’s a statement that embodies everything the food brand stands for.
Using high quality ingredients with no MSG or hydrogenated fats, Mr Lee’s Noddles has created a range of gourmet and gluten-free instant noodles in a cup. It’s the only instant noodle range certified low in sugar by Sugarwise and gluten-free by Coeliac AU, and is also certified with Celiac UK and registered with the Vegan Society.
With flavours such as Hong Kong Street Beef, Coconut Chicken Laksa and vegan Zen Garden Vegetables, Mr Lee’s is a world away from the industry standard and, for founder Damien Lee, the ultimate aim is to “change the way consumers perceive the convenience ready meals sector.”
Regular Startups’ readers will be familiar with Lee’s inspiring backstory; he launched the business in 2015 after a successful battle with terminal cancer which saw him change his diet – fighting cravings for junk cup noodles by creating a healthy alternative.
Today, Lee’s decision to translate his experience into a business helping consumers live better through a healthier diet has paid off and he and his team of 12 have rapidly achieved global growth for Mr Lee’s, supported by £3.5m in equity funding.
Mr Lee’s Noodles are now stocked worldwide with sales across independent shops in the UK and Malta, hotels across Asia and Scandinavia, Australia’s Woolworth’s, EzyMart and Metro, as well as one of Australia’s largest airlines; Jetstar Airways.
Australia has been a huge market for the start-up and Lee tells us that the size of the opportunity is such that he has opened up production and recruited a team there.
These new recruits will support imminent Australia launches in Harris Farm supermarkets and defence force bases across the country.
Why Mr Lee’s Noodles made our shortlist:
In two years, Damien Lee has built a global noodle business which has been an instant hit. The start-up’s early expansion across Europe and Australia is to be commended but, for Lee, “this is just the beginning”.
The start-up is currently in conversations to launch with major retailers in the US, while continuing to develop new products for healthier living. With a dream to sell his Asian-inspired noodles back to the place where noodles originated, we also suspect an Asia launch is in the pipeline.
Where to find out more about Mr Lee’s Noodles:
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