Cup noodles in Japan are going up market to cash in on a craze for gourmet Ramen, the soup with noodles that has its roots in China but is now prepared in an unquestionably Japanese style.

Instant ramen makers have teamed up with famous local ramen shops and are developing high-quality brands with tastes the makers claim to be similar to those in the best Ramen shops or bars.

Double the price of regular instant noodles at ¥200-300 (US$1.7-2.5), manufacturers say they are selling well.

Nisshin Food Products Co, which makes Cup Noodle, has sold more than 1 million cases of Goo Ta noodles which has a recipe based on a popular noodle bar’s. The superior brand was launched only late last year. Other noodle companies are now following suit.

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