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Ramen Chain Looks Outside Japan for Noodle-Powered Growth

  • U.S. is primary focus for overseas expansion, chain says
  • New restaurants planned for Berkeley, San Francisco, New York
Ramen bowls sit on kitchen counter inside an Ippudo restaurant.

Ramen bowls sit on kitchen counter inside an Ippudo restaurant.

Photographer: Shiho Fukada/Bloomberg
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To bring savory noodles to locales around the world, the operator of ramen chain Ippudo has had to adapt one of Japan’s best-known specialties.

It took almost half a year to get the rich tonkotsu pork broth right in Europe because of the harder water. In western countries, noodles are made shorter so it’s easier for the locals to eat. Chikaranomoto Holdings Co. may face its hardest challenge yet -- bringing Japan’s iconic noodles to some of the world’s toughest foodies.