Internet trends: marketing research & predictions

Japanese stand in line for ramen noodles

March 3rd, 2007 by

I have always thought that Japanese must be the most fascinating people to conduct research on. It is like a future-bizarre picture of what can become of us (if we will be cool, clever and rich enough). The fun site of makes it possible for English speaking people to understand a bit more about this community. There, I ran into an interesting research conducted by the Japanese portal goo The question they addressed on their pool at January was “what could you most bare to stand in a long queue for”.
Interestingly, (see results in picture 1) both men and women reported that standing in line for a popular ramen shop is a good cause (number 1 reason for men number 2 for women). As I wanted to find more about this popular behavior, I searched google trends for “ramen”: it seems that ramen noodles are not searched by Japanese through google (can’t “google trends” reveal trends?), nor much by anyone else (all but Europeans (thanks to the wise comments I have received) who search for “ramen” only because it means “windows” in Dutch (see graph 1).

For my disappointment, banks and ATMs are still a major reason for Japanese to stand in line for, even in a modern country like Japan.


Picture 1


Graph 1 – “ramen” in google trends

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3 Responses

  1. emiels Says:


    In Dutch (as spoken in a large part of Belgium & all of Holland) ‘ramen’ means ‘window’. Apart from the big cities I haven’t seen any ramen shops in the NL.

    Best, emiel (NL)

  2. Sander Says:

    ‘Ramen’ happens to be the Dutch word for ‘windows’, so that might explain why it’s searched for that much (relatively) in Belgium and The Netherlands.

  3. Andreas Says:

    Haha. “Ramen” is Dutch for “windows”, which probably explains why Belgium and the Netherlands score so high for this particular search query.

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