Suffering snacks! Pot Noodle boy turns out to be a girl

She's aged between 16 and 21, spends long hours working or studying, and hates cooking and washing up. She is also the biggest weekly consumer of Pot Noodles, according to the first academic study into pot snacks.

First launched 25 years ago in Lancashire, Pot Noodles are currently selling at an estimated five and a half pots a second - the biggest fans include stars such as David Beckham, Noel Gallagher and Gareth Gates.

But the brand is so popular among students that Unilever, its manufacturer, now has more than 50 student brand managers at universities across the country, promoting the snack in a variety of ways - including pot noodle evenings on campus.

The greatest fanbase, the report says, is among young women aged between 16 and 21, and that is in spite of such seemingly sexist advertising campaigns as "Pot Noodle - the Slag of All Snacks".

"Analysis ... revealed that more females than males consume snack pots several times a week,'' concludes the report, published in the British Food Journal.

The report was carried out by researchers at Manchester Metropolitan and Nottingham universities, and the researchers claim that the market for this type of food has thrived on a number of changes in society, including increased numbers of working women and reduced household sizes.

Consumers of some of the lesser-known brands were almost all women. Seven out of 10 people opting for Tastebreaks were women or girls, as were 100 per cent of Snackstop consumers. Women were also much more likely to opt for rice pot snacks, and a new type of Pot Noodle - Posh Noodle - is expected to increase the appeal among women.

"Convenience is the main asset," says the report. "There is very little preparation and clearing up, therefore reducing the time it takes to complete the mealtime experience."

Such convenience is of particular appeal to students, say the researchers. As the number of people entering full-time education has increased by 62 per cent in the last decade, it's perhaps not surprising that noodle consumption has also increased.

While conducting the study, researchers questioned a number of groups, including students and shoppers in Manchester, and civil servants in Wrexham.

Asked their opinions about the nutritional content of pot snacks, 31 per cent said they had too many additives, and one in 10 people considered them junk food. One in 100, however, bought a pot snack because they wanted "a nutritious meal".

One self-confessed Pot Noodle addict is Helen Nesbitt, a 22-year-old from Fulham, south-west London. She eats a Pot Noodle for her main evening meal at least four times a week - as well as for "a couple of lunches".

"I guess it's a bit of a hangover from my university days, but basically I just really like Pot Noodles," says Ms Nesbitt, a visual effects artist at a film production company.

"I'm always very busy at work, and I don't have much time, so they're just perfect. They're quick and easy, and they only cost about 75p, so it's much cheaper than going to somewhere like Prêt à Manger for a sandwich.

"I tend to buy them in bulk and I keep a stash of them around my desk. My colleagues can't believe how much I love them - they call me 'The Pot Noodle Girl'."

Ms Nesbitt says she isn't worried that some might view her diet as slightly unhealthy.

"I'm too young to worry about whether they're healthy or not," she says. "At weekends I don't tend to have them, especially if I go home, because my mum feeds me properly."

Ms Nesbitt isn't surprised that Pot Noodles are so popular with young women.

"Girls don't want fast food in terms of burgers and greasy stuff," she says. "Pot Noodles are a meal in themselves, they're cheaper and they're a bit more sensible."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
Britons buy more than 30 million handsets each year, keeping them for an average of 18 months
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Alloysious Massaquoi, 'G' Hastings and Kayus Bankole of Young Fathers are the surprise winners of this year's Mercury Music Prize
musicThe surprise winners of the Mercury Prize – and a very brief acceptance speech
Arts and Entertainment
TV Presenters Ant McPartlin and Dec Donnelly. Winners of the 'Entertainment Programme' award for 'Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway'
musicAnt and Dec confirmed as hosts of next year's Brit Awards
Arts and Entertainment
Orson Welles made Citizen Kane at 25, and battled with Hollywood film studios thereafter
film
News
video
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

English Teacher

£100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: English Teacher - Saffron ...

Primary Supply Teacher - Northants

£90 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Leicester: Primary School Supply Teache...

Maths Teacher

£21000 - £35000 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Maths Teacher - Saffro...

Chemistry Teacher - Top School in Malaysia - January Start

£18000 - £20400 per annum + Accommodation, Flights, Medical Cover: Randstad Ed...

Day In a Page

Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes
Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs:

Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs

"I have never regarded anything I have done in "the media" as a proper job"
Lyricist Richard Thomas shares his 11-step recipe for creating a hit West End musical

11-step recipe for creating a West End hit

Richard Thomas, the lyricist behind the Jerry Springer and Anna Nicole Smith operas, explains how Bob Dylan, 'Breaking Bad' and even Noam Chomsky inspired his songbook for the new musical 'Made in Dagenham'
Tonke Dragt's The Letter for the King has finally been translated into English ... 50 years on

Buried treasure: The Letter for the King

The coming-of-age tale about a boy and his mission to save a mythical kingdom has sold a million copies since it was written by an eccentric Dutchwoman in 1962. Yet until last year, no one had read it in English
Can instilling a sense of entrepreneurship in pupils have a positive effect on their learning?

The school that means business

Richard Garner heads to Lancashire, where developing the 'dragons' of the future is also helping one community academy to achieve its educational goals
10 best tablets

The world in your pocket: 10 best tablets

They’re thin, they’re light, you can use them for work on the move or keeping entertained
Lutz Pfannenstiel: The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents

Lutz Pfannenstiel interview

The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents
Pete Jenson: Popular Jürgen Klopp can reignite Borussia Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern Munich

Pete Jenson's a Different League

Popular Klopp can reignite Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern
John Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

The use of the British hostage demonstrates once again the militants' skill and originality in conducting a propaganda war, says Patrick Cockburn
The killer instinct: The man who helps students spot potential murderers

The killer instinct

Phil Chalmers travels the US warning students how to spot possible future murderers, but can his contentious methods really stop the bloodshed?
Clothing the gap: A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd

Clothing the gap

A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd
Fall of the Berlin Wall: Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain