Hsinchu rice noodles can trace their roots as far back as 1858, when Kuo Chuan and his three brothers, who had been making rice noodles in Fujian, China, crossed the strait to Taiwan. They moved to Dananshih settlement in Hsinchu, which is right by the rice fields flourishing over the tidal land of Keya Creek. Dependent on Hsinchu’s unique seasonal winds, Guo and his brothers began making rice noodles once again. During its golden age in the ‘60s, there were as many as 120 rice noodle factories here, and the riverbeds were taken over by sun-drying rice noodles; since then, rice noodles have become one of Hsinchu’s most well-known specialties. The current owner of Old Pot Rice Noodles is the sixth generation in Kuo Chuan’s lineage. Inheriting an ancestral business of more than 150 years, the current owner follows the traditional Guo spirits that began the process, from selecting indica rice to 19 intricate steps along the way.
However, with the evolution of the food industry and the arrival of the internet, sales channels could no longer be limited to the existing operation model. As a result, Old Pot Rice Noodles introduced modern facilities and established Xing Xi Food Company as it strived towards business management and manufacturing rice noodles of more stable quality under a standard operating procedure. In 1999, Old Pot Rice Noodles curated Taiwan’s first Rice Noodle Museum in the hopes of reinvigorating the traditional industry and allowing people to have a more in-depth understanding of Hsinchu’s rice noodle industry. It also offers displays of historical documents, revolutions, and machinery related to making of rice noodles; the number of visitors to the Museum has accumulated to hundreds of thousands of people thus far. In 2002, Xing Xi founded the Old Pot Farm, leading visitors to experience rice noodle making and offering food and farming education amidst fun activities.
In Response to Needs of Modern Life, Products’ Content and Portion were Modified
Even though Old Pot Rice Noodles have been enjoying its name and fame, it still lacked a unified visual identification system. The brand’s packaging was confusing and was missing a traceable identity. As an effort to create an organized look and improve on its branding, Old Pot Rice Noodles participated in the 2016 TGA Brand Counseling Project. Under the assistance of ATSAI Brand Design, Old Pot Rice Noodles received immensely valuable advice on its branding and gained more momentum towards elevating its product quality.
Old Pot Rice Noodles believe that by actively improving its products to keep up with current trends is equivalent to its pursuit of its products’ high quality. As a result, Old Pot Rice Noodles devoted its time during the counseling project period for the fine-tuning of its existing product – Instant Rice Noodles, which combined rice noodles made purely of rice and all-natural vegetables; more than 10 different flavors include taro, green algae, carrots, pumpkin, spinach, gobo, and tomato. Pouring in hot water, customers will be able to enjoy their noodles whether they’re for afternoon tea, working overtime, or a snack before bedtime. People nowadays, especially office workers, with busy schedules can all easily obtain necessary nutrition in a light but delicious meal.
As the family formation these days has become more diverse, families of three generations have gradually evolved to small families or people living on their own. After discussing with ATSAI Brand Design, Old Pot Rice Noodles has also decided to customize portions according to different needs, including rice noodles of 40g that are suitable for one person, as well as other kinds of portion sizes good for small families, large families, or large group gatherings.
Brand Designs Integrate Industry Culture with Local Landmarks – Promoting Rice Noodles to the World
ATSAI Brand Design gave life to an overall branding that is enriched with culture and pure old-time flair. Following rice noodles’ development in Taiwan and displaying through printmaking, important landmarks, such as the traditional religious center – City God Temple, Hsinchu Train Station, Yingxi Gate, in Hsinchu were highlighted. Illustrations of ingredients are distributed amidst the landmarks to reflect the integration of the rice noodle industry and its home in Hsinchu. “Pure Rice Noodles” written in a font resembling seal prints are stamped over the front to emphasize the century-old flavor coming from 1858. It is hoped that through disassembling the old elements and presenting a new appearance will reinforce Old Pot Rice Noodles’ historical status.
Old Pot Rice Noodles gave ATSAI Brand Design complete authority. Late in 2017, Old Pot Rice Noodles’ new look made its debut in the Taipei International Food Show. Through overall image enhancement and stir-fried rice noodle tasting, Old Pot wowed the crowd and subsequently signed contracts with online and physical sales channels. To this date, Old Pot Rice Noodles has successfully been sold to Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia, the U.S., and Japan – Hsinchu rice noodles have now entered the global market and earned wide acclaim.