I use a Google News alert to keep me abreast of what’s going on in the world of ramen, and there are always stories about college kids eating ramen, but in the past couple months, I've seen a new trend: ramen as an economic indicator. This story from the AP is mainly about people buying more Spam, but also has a bit about people eating ramen more often. The bad thing is that with the rise in grain prices over the past year, ramen is now more expensive, as we've detailed here before. The USDA data shows that in June-August 2003, the wholesale cost of wheat to make flour was $8.68/cwt (cwt=100 lbs or about 45 kg). By Dec 2007-Feb 2008, it was $27.70/cwt, and you can expect your ramen prices to rise along with that. Unfortunately the CBOT doesn't track ramen prices. All these stories made me wonder if the traffic to my site correlates with the economy.
Is anyone out there (not in college or jail) buying more ramen these days? Have you seen a large price increase in your ramen?
PS - Sorry for this post looking like a memepool entry.