Udayavni Special

How Maggi sustained in the market despite FSSAI ban


Team Udayavani, May 2, 2021, 3:11 PM IST

Source: Nestle

Maggi, a ready in 2 minutes noodles is an extremely popular snack among the children and the elderly.

Despite its popularity, not many people know of when and where Maggi was first made or who gave Maggi, the two-minute noodles tag.

Below is the story of Maggi.

Maggi originated in Switzerland in 1884 as Julius Maggi had the vision to make good-tasting and nutritious food accessible to busy, working families. To provide nutritious, easy to prepare food for busy women who worked in factories and didn’t have time to prepare healthy meals. Julius invented a powdered pea and bean soup.

With the invention of ready-to-use soups and liquid seasoning, the first Maggi product was followed two years later.

In 1947, Nestlé acquired the Maggi brand, and today, more than 120 years later, Maggi still thrives to be delicious and nutritious food accessible to all.

Maggi’s entry into the Indian market has been 37 years. Nestle India Limited brought Maggi to India. Maggi launched its 5 minutes noodles in 1984 but the biggest problem the company faced was how to popularize a different diet such as Maggi in India’s traditional diet. In India, noodles aren’t considered healthy and hence the company tried to sell noodles with lentils, rice flour, etc.

Initially, Indians weren’t ready to compromise on the health of their children, as Maggi fell into the snack category. That is when Maggi started targetting its ads towards children and not women. As people’s lifestyle changed gradually after 1999 Maggi became the need for every kitchen as it could be made in just 2 minutes.

Maggi’s extensive emotional storytelling, showcasing indulgent moments of mother-child dynamic caught everyone’s attention, representing modern India.

Maggi, over the years, experimented with flavours, pack sizes, at a consistently affordable price to become accessible to everyone. Maggie enjoyed around 90% market share in the instant noodle segment since the inception of the brand.  Along with the brand’s complementary products (soups, sauces) Maggie, directly contributed t more than 20% of Nestle India’s revenue.

In the summer of 2015, Food Safety & Regulation Authorities found higher lead concentrations than permissible in the noodles. Nestle casually denied these allegations and failed to communicate against the misunderstanding.

Media houses covered it aggressively to an extent where the brand image tampered.

Maggi’s market share dropped from an impressive 80% to below 5% in just a month, with Nestle reporting its first quarterly loss in three decades.

Later the same year, Maggi was given six weeks to prove its safety standards and it cleared the test and was back on shelves, winning back the customer base.

Today the tradition continues around the world. Whether it’s Maggi bouillons, soups, or seasonings, people still go gaga over this brand.

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