Pang Chin Hin, founder of Malaysian snack bar Mamee, dies at 92

hong kong
CNN Business

The founder of Mamee Monster, Southeast Asia’s iconic noodle snack brand, has died, the company confirmed on Tuesday.

Mamee-Double Decker Group, a Malaysian food manufacturer, told CNN Business that Pang Chin Hin had died. Saturday at the age of 92. The local media had given his age of 96, reflecting a traditional Chinese way of calculating age.

“Without [him] many of our childhoods would be very different,” Group CEO Pierre Pang Hee Ta, grandson of Pang, told CNN Business in a statement. “He is truly a legend, we have our utmost respect for him, and we are grateful for what he has done and we will now continue his legacy.”

Pang leaves behind a beloved brand that has become a pantry staple for consumers across the region. Mamee is best known for its colorful packets of crunchy, dry instant noodles, which are usually sold with a powdered salty flavor. Some have compared the image of a furry blue cartoon character on its packaging to the Cookie Monster of Sesame Street.

Pang, a former used-car dealer, based the company in 1971, when he and a business partner set up an instant noodle factory in the Malaysian coastal state of Malacca.

The company started by making traditional instant noodles, with vermicelli packets sold under a brand called Lucky.

About three years later, Pang’s son noticed workers who worked as rubber tappers “eating uncooked instant noodles straight from the packet,” according to a company biography posted on his website. The family then decided to branch out into a new category: selling noodles as dried snacks.

The Mamee range now offers different flavors in powder, ranging from barbecue to chicken and black pepper. The company says the name of the snacks, which are popular with kids, is a play on the word “mom.” The group sells its products in 86 countries.

Today, the company’s product line has expanded to include a variety of snacks and beverages, including Double Decker crackers, Mister Potato chips and Boom+ vitamin drinks.

In an interview this year, Pang’s grandson said that while Mamee was his most recognizable brand, Mister Potato chips were his biggest source of income.

Peter Pan Told Malaysian publication The Edge in March called the launch of these potato chips “the most important decision in our history, as the brand contributes over 70% of our revenue and is exported to 18 markets”.

He added that his father and grandfather, the late Pang, were receptive to new ideas and supportive of his vision to grow the business in new directions.

“I’m so lucky they’re so open,” he said. “We are the product of two great avant-garde generations.”

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