Competition may not affect Maggi’s market: experts

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani New Delhi | Updated on January 22, 2018


Rivals have stepped up distribution and marketing in the last five months

Will Nestle India regain the lost market as it sets out to re-introduce Maggi sometime soon? Yes, believe industry experts and analysts.

Retailers and brand experts whom BusinessLine spoke to believe that the company will gain back its market share quickly.

Devendra Chawla, Group President-Food FMCG and Brands, Future Group, said: “I do not think Maggi will be coming back into a market that has seen an increase in competition. Existing brands may have had time to strengthen their position. But when a product that has been missed, and has a strong brand equity makes a comeback, we may all be in for a surprise.” In the past five months, rivals like Yippee Noodles and Wai-Wai have been stepping on the gas strengthening their marketing and distribution networks. According to estimates, the instant-noodles category which was pegged at about ₹3,500 crore, shrunk to about ₹1,000 crore, after the category was hit with the food scarcity scandal.

Brand expert Harish Bijoor said, “Once the company is back on the shelves, it will gain back 90 per cent of the consumer base immediately, as they are waiting for the product. There may be about 10 per cent of the consumers who may not buy into the Maggi that quickly and may still have questions.”

Nirvana Chaudhary, ED at CG Corp Global, which makes Wai-Wai, believes the instant-noodles market is expected to go back to the size of about ₹3,000 crore by next year. Indo-Nissin Foods, which makes Top Ramen Noodles and had gone off the shelves, has also embarked on a comeback strategy. According to sources, the company has started production and has been trying to revive its distribution network. After a print campaign in early October, the company recently launched its television campaign. Aman Mittal, COO at Savemax, said: “Based on interactions with consumers, we believe Maggi’s brand value and taste value is still intact.”

But, Maggi has to be ready for competition, the experts point out. Competition could come from even lesser known brands and new players. Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali has forayed in the instant noodles category. Malaysian firm Inbisco, which launched its Joymee noodles last year, has also been trying to grab the consumer’s attention with a TV marketing campaign and working on stepping up on the distribution. An e-mail sent to the company for comments went unanswered.

Published on November 06, 2015

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