Maggi was a trailblazer in the instant noodles category in the ’80s. From satiating midnight hunger pangs to being a blessing for those who can’t cook, it has become India’s favourite comfort food. And it is not surprising that Maggi is one of the most stocked food items among abroad-based Indian students.
Rival brands decapitating the hegemony? Not quite.
ITC Sunfeast’s Yippee: Yippee tried to trump Maggi with the promise of long, slurpy and non-sticky noodles. The tagline extols “It’s better, no?” but the brand is still far from eating away Maggi’s share.
GSK’s Foodles: GSK played the health card with the introduction of Foodles under the Horlicks brand. You get a ‘Health Maker’ with a pack of Foodles as opposed to Maggi, where you add condiments using the ‘Taste Maker.’
Maggi’s other rival brands—which deserve a mention—include Nissin’s Top Ramen, the most popular brand for instant noodles in the US, and Chaudhary Group’s Wai Wai. Wai Wai’s non-vegetarian variants are particularly big in north-east India.
Even though it may be facing competition in the present day, many consumers still set store by Maggi’s unique taste.
Maggi isn’t noodling around.
Over the years, Maggi has managed to stay relevant by constantly innovating and renovating. Through the ’80s and ’90s, it was pronounced as a saviour for moms whose famished child demands food as quickly as possible. Its “Two-minute Noodles” and “Fast to Cook, Good to Eat” taglines became enormously popular.
In the 2000s, it tried to incorporate the health and wellness quotient with the slogan “Taste bhi Health Bhi” by ensuring more protein and calcium content in the product.
Me & Meri Maggi was another unique campaign that allowed consumers to share their ‘Maggi Moments’ with the brand. The package design was pinched to accommodate the chosen entries and pictures of the consumers.
With the 2 Minute Mein Khushiyan campaign the brand focused on the ‘convenience and happiness’ feature. Brand ambassador Amitabh Bachchan was roped in as a story teller in the commercials. Stories supplied by the consumers through the various touch points created by the brand gave yet another boost to the iconic heritage.
Khushiyon ki Recipe—The New Campaign
One of the recent ads shows a daughter cooking Maggi for her mother, and not the other way round. The daughter is moving out at 21 and the mother is worried—Maggi tries to have an emotional appeal with this one. There are no children in the ad, which seems rather anomalous for Maggi.
It could be because of Nestle signing the global charter on responsible advertising that stops food brands from targeting children below 12 years in their ads. It is, nonetheless, a fresh departure from the old TVCs.
Nestle’s Maggi isn’t nestled all snug in bed.
The brand realises that to stick by, it can’t wink at the competition! After being the leader for nearly 30 years, it still doesn’t blindly take the customers to be loyalists.
Introducing economy packs, coming up with a menagerie of variants like Vegetable Atta Noodles and the more recent Maggi Oats Noodles, and building stronger bond with its customers through unique campaigns, have helped Maggi sustain this cornucopia of delight.
More noodle love from the other Spoon chapters: