In October of 2010, Christopher Johnson performed a typical lunchtime routine – he placed his ramen in a bowl, estimated the right amount of water, and stuck it in the microwave. He was left, as usual, underwhelmed by the pasty noodles sitting in front of him. There was an obvious question, but no obvious answer – how do you balance microwave speed with stovetop quality?
“What I found through my research is that when there is excess space and excess water, the microwave heats the water and doesn’t actually cook the noodles. My design used the exact dimensions for the depth of the water and size of the bowl. When it worked, I was like, this is a freaking winner.”
By 2012, Johnson had a clear vision for his innovation: the Rapid Ramen Cooker – a microwavable bowl with a precise water line, custom-fit for ramen noodles.
Johnson soon achieved local success after he was able to place his new product in a few major retail stores around the Sacramento region. His invention also established an online presence through Amazon.com. What started as a simple idea soon began to prove itself as a product to be reckoned with.
In 2013, Johnson received the opportunity of a lifetime when he learned that he would be appearing on ABC’s hit show “Shark Tank” to pitch his Rapid Ramen Cooker to 5 of the most successful entrepreneurs in the country. His appearance was a massive success – Johnson struck a deal with investor Mark Cuban and sales exploded!
Rapid Brands products can now be found in over 50,000 retail doors across the country including Wal-Mart, Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, CVS, and Walgreens. Rapid Brands products also appear in over 1,100 college bookstores nationwide. Going forward, Christopher Johnson and his team continue to innovate new products while proving how a simple idea can turn into a dreamlike success.