When Maggi Noodles hit our nearest stalls and markets again last November, happiness for many was redefined. There is no denying that for many across the country, a bowl full of classic Maggi noodles equaled some of the greatest pleasures of life. The sentiments took a hit when the instant noodle samples were found to contain excess of MSG (monosodium glutamate) as well as lead. For five tough months, Nestle India had to comply with trails of tests to finally get a clean chit from the apex court only to get back to serving its customers again. Though it remains difficult to assess the extent to which the marred sentiments were nursed back again by Nestle, what is evident is the fact that the instant noodle brand is not only facing a wave of aggressive competition but also divided sales in the past few months.
According to a PTI report, Nestle India claims a 55.5 per cent share in the instant noodle market, “However, financially it could take a few more quarters to fully overcome the Rs 500-crore hit it took because of the ban last year.” With many rival brands like Patanjali andITC pacing up their game, it seems Nestle India has finally devised a strategy to get back into the ring.
Nestle India has announced the launch of its new sub-brand of instant noodles available in four exciting flavours. Maggi ‘Hot Heads’ apparently aims to appeal to ‘young adults’. Nestle chairman, Suresh Narayanan, also confirmed the same on a leading web portal. With the rollout of Maggi ‘Hot Heads’, Nestle’s gamut of instant noodles has now grown to a total of 12 variants including the classic masala, tomato, chicken, atta noodles, oats noodles and the four new flavours – peri peri, barbeque pepper, chilli chicken and green chilli.
“We have weathered the storm, although we still have two cases pending in the court. Now it is the time to ride the wave. There are about 20-25 product launches, some of them have happened, some are happening and some will happen in four to six weeks’ time. This is probably the single largest window of new product launches in a long time” Nestle India chairman Suresh Narayanan told PTI.
Besides its instant noodle variants, Nestle India plans to bring 25 new products in the market. “We are trying to look at product concepts that are differentiators. The launches are multi-targeted in terms of consumer base that we are looking at,” said Mr. Narayanan.
Mr. Narayanan also commented on the ever changing demands and tastes of the urban Indian consumer. Keeping the same, he emphasised on the need to keep experimentingand bring different products in the market. “The script for the future will be written by redefining the rules of the past,” he added. Before its withdrawal, Maggi Noodles enjoyed 77% share of the total instant noodle market which currently stands at 55.5%. ITC, Wai Wai and Patanjali have now emerged as the key players in the segment. “Our hope and effort is to get back to where we were,” Mr. Narayanan noted.
Similar to their post-ban comeback plan, Nestle India has tied up with the Indian e-commerce giant Snapdeal for the preliminary launch of Maggi ‘Hot Heads’. In a print advertisement published in one of the leading national dailies, Nestle India made public the fact that you will need to log on the e-commerce portal to get the taste of the new flavours. Maggi ‘Hot Heads’ will be available in four flavours, each in a Snapdeal Combo Pack of 8 and 6 servings priced at 164 and 120 Rupees respectively.