Celebrity chef David Chang revolutionized fine dining when he opened Momofuku Noodle Bar in New York City in 2004. Gone were the white tablecloths and stuffy menus. In were minimalist furnishings and steaming bowls of noodles.

Momofuku restaurant group CEO Marguerite Zabar Mariscal says David was inspired by the care, skill, and high-quality ingredients used by chefs in Japan. “No one had really seen that kind of intensity applied to what people perceived as being more humble offerings,” Marguerite says.

Now, Momofuku is bringing that same intensity to its consumer packaged goods (CPG) business, Momofuku Goods, which sells chili crisp, instant noodles, soy sauce, and more. “There just hasn’t been as much attention paid to that section of the supermarket or what’s available direct-to-consumer,” Marguerite says.

Here’s how Momofuku diversified its business, adding a successful CPG line to its storied family of restaurants.

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Making restaurant-grade products

Marguerite says the company took a unique approach to developing products. “We got advice from someone very early on that said you want someone to be able to take a bite of something and have it taste like Momofuku,” Marguerite says.

So the company reverse engineered the process and integrated the products into dishes in its restaurants. Restaurant chefs use the brand’s seasoning salts, soy sauce, and chili crisp in Majordomo in LA and Noodle Bar in New York. “The very first products we made said, ‘restaurant grade,’ which was kind of a little cheeky joke, but we meant it,” Marguerite says.

A person with a bowl of Sweet & Spicy noodles and a Momofuku Sweet & Spicy Noodles package
Momofuku designed the packaging to mimic what the products might look like in a restaurant kitchen, complete with an image of a handwritten label on a piece of tape. Momofuku

Finding a hero product

When Momofuku’s team entered the CPG business, they actually thought soy sauce would be their biggest seller. After all, it’s one of the…

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