As Indian instant noodles market hots up, Marico makes entry with Saffola Oodles

Nandana James Mumbai | Updated on February 19, 2021 Published on February 19, 2021

Made from wholegrain oats, does not contain maida, artificial preservatives; pricing — single pack of 46g for ₹20, multi-pack (pack of 4) of 184g for ₹80

FMCG major Marico Ltd is entering the instant noodles segment with the launch of Saffola Oodles, the company said on Friday. With this, Marico will be taking on Nestle and ITC, the dominant players in the segment.

Saffola Oodles does not contain maida or artificial preservatives, said Marico in a statement. This is in line with the company’s focus on strengthening its foothold in the healthy, ready-to-cook snacking category and widening its demographic relevance, it added.

Also read: As demand returns, FMCG majors post strong Q3

India is the fourth-largest instant noodles market in the Asia Pacific, accounting for a 3-4 per cent market share. The segment in India had total sales of $1,040.4 million in 2019 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of around 5.6 per cent to $1,293.7 million in 2023.

Saffola Oodles is available across major e-commerce platforms such as Saffola Stores, Amazon, BigBasket, Grofers and Flipkart. It comes in two SKUs — a single pack of 46g for ₹20 and a multi-pack (pack of four) of 184g for ₹80.

Since the launch of Saffola Masala Oats, Saffola has become a mainstay in the ready-to-eat snacking market in India, said Koshy George, Chief Marketing Officer, Marico. “Once again, championing the healthy indulgence narrative, we have launched Saffola Oodles in the instant noodles category. Made from wholegrain oats, Saffola Oodles comes in a delicious masala flavour and does not contain maida or artificial preservatives. This new launch seeks to meet the rising consumer need for healthier snacking options that are at the same time delightfully tasty.”

“Consumption of instant noodles has been increasing at a rate of 5-6 per cent in India. A young population, convenience, on-the-go consumption and a growing consumer acceptance across smaller cities have made it a lucrative category for the major players,” Rajat Wahi, Partner, Deloitte India, told BusinessLine. The pandemic-induced lockdown also accelerated the sales of instant noodles as people stocked up on food, convenience, ease of availability and long shelf life, he added.

“As a result, all the established players witnessed an increase in sales, and this is expected to continue in the coming years. The country’s food segment is highly fragmented due to regional tastes, purchasing power, age groups, and retail channels, and brands have to adapt their products to meet the needs of this fragmented market. In addition, as consumers become more health conscious, companies are exploring new and innovative healthy variants of instant noodles, such as gluten-free, air-fried, sun-dried, etc, to gain market share,” explained Wahi.

Also read: FMCG shines in Q3 on health focus, winter portfolio


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Published on February 19, 2021
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