How ‘2-Minute Maggie’ becomes India’s favorite snack?

Maggi noodle was launched in 1984 by Nestle. In 1980s, instant noodles was an entirely new category, the challenge was to establish an entirely new product and yet find a relevant consumption benefit in the market. Maggi was, therefore, positioned as snack made for children who like to experiment food and was billed as a ‘fast to cook and good to eat snack’.

“Mummy Bhook Lagi – Bas 2-Minute” was a rendition of this approach. It fit well with the mother’s child caring relationship. These ads became so popular that “Bas 2-Minute” instantly reminded Indian consumers of Maggi noodles and the Rs. 2.50 per 100gm Maggi was an instant success.

Health Factor was gaining importance in those days. Several other brands like Hindustan Unilever launched the Knorr Soupy noodles for a healthy afternoon snacking option. Maggi did not want to stay behind, It rolled out a new noodle with a multi-grain variant called Multigrainz and aggressively advertised it as a nutritious food for kids. Maggi tops it all by being the market leader with the maximum share in its bowl.

A journey of Maggi in India:

Year 1984: Nestlé India announced the launch of its MAGGI of India Noodles range.

Year 1997: Nestle changed the taste of Maggi noodles, but it proved to be a failure.

Year 1999: Maggi reintroduces the old formulation and revived sales with the punchline “Fast to Cook, Good to Eat”.

Year 2000: Maggi noodles became the leader in instant noodles space.

Year 2005: Marketing strategy to keep Maggi brand fresh and as a healthy product with its tagline “Health Bhi, Taste Bhi” with the launch of Maggi Atta noodles.

Year 2009: Maggi celebrates 25 years of Maggi noodles with “Me and Meri Maggi” campaign and the launch of Maggi Pazzta.

>>>>— Me and Meri Maggi campaign invited consumers to share their Maggi moments. As a part of this promotional drive, magi launched a website, where the consumer could upload their Maggi moments and their favorite Maggi recipes or stories hit with the company will get a chance to be featured on Maggi packets or ads.—<<<<

Year 2012: Amitabh Bachchan has been made the brand ambassador of Maggi. Maggi’s Do minute Mein Khushiyan with Amitabh Bachchan was launched in 2012. Maggi had generally stayed away from the celebrity endorsements. In general, mother and child have been the celebrities for Maggi for the longest time. With its only exceptions, when Preity Jinta promoted the Rs.5 Chotu Maggi and the family packs.

Year 2015: A year of crisis for Maggi in India. A three-decade-long relationship was at stake, Maggi went down to zero in just a month. A nationwide ban was imposed on Maggi by FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) due to high amount of lead found and No MSG label on its back that didn’t match with the safety standard. Prior to the ban, Maggi owned nearly 80% of the market share in the instant noodles segment. In the blink of an eye, its share plummeted to zero.

It was a state of emergency for Nestle India. The company was neither prepared for it nor did it have any immediate plan of action to overcome it. It only played with fire by initially denying the allegations of a hazardous composition of Maggi. But when it was proven guilty for the second time, the customers were furious. Maggi was losing not only its market share but also credibility. Nestle announced a recall of all its instant noodles from the markets and destroy 27000 tonnes (400 million packets having a valuation of 320 crores) of Maggi within forty days.

Year 2016: Nestle India relaunched Maggi in the market. Nestle India said all samples of Maggi Noodles Masala have been cleared by three National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories-accredited labs as mandated by the Bombay High Court.

Big B in the new campaign is a storyteller who narrates the stories given by the consumers. The aim is to bring back the segments of consumers who moved away from the brand since they have grown up. A powerful celebrity as a brand ambassador adds a big boost which is the need of the hour for Maggi with so many competitors around. The problem with such a heritage brand is that communication becomes boring over a period of time and it needs the right energy to move ahead and face the competition.

Maggi has captured the hearts of millions in India again because it understands the needs of people and manages to meet these demands. For example, in the 1980s, when there was a huge increase in the number of women joining the workforce, Nestle India introduced Maggi 2 Minute Noodles to the Indian crowd.

This is how Maggi revolutionized the instant food industry, particularly the instant noodles segment. When eating habits of people changed, Maggi tweaked its products to include low-fat bouillons. When Maggi was launched in India in the 1980s, there was no direct competition from instant noodle brands. However, there was competition from other snacks that Indians had been fond of for decades, and these included samosas, pakoras, and sandwiches.

However, most of these snacks are purchased from roadside stalls and are relatively unhygienic and unhealthy. So, Maggi positioned itself as the only hygienic homemade brand. It decided to target working women who did not have much time to prepare elaborate meals in the kitchen. However, Maggi realized later, through surveys, that children were the largest consumers of Maggi noodles. And then Maggi repositioned its brand towards the kid’s segment and included various promotional tools such as sketch pens, color pencils, and fun books to entice children. And this worked wonders for the brand.

Due to its promotional activities, Maggi’s annual growth grew by 15% during its initial years, and today, Maggi is the leading brand in the instant noodles segment in India, with a market share of 79.3%. in its bowl.

Being a pioneer in the noodles market in India has definitely given Maggi a boost and first mover’s advantage over other brands. Maggi is slowly but surely widening its market to reach out to more and more people. Maggi’s products come in travel packs as well as bulk packs, to cater to those who look for convenience while traveling and those who are price sensitive and prefer to purchase food in bulk.

Maggi is one of the few brands to have taken the time to understand its consumers and their requirements, that is why it is no. 1 choice and of course the most successful brands, not only in India but in the world.

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