Among the sector’s market players, Nestle’s Maggi noodles held a unique space. The curry-flavored and supposedly “two-minute” noodles were made in a variety of ways across the country and was synonymous with all other instant noodles. Since 1983, Maggi dominated this segment in the market with its perfectly-scripted and timed advertising. Its method of marketing recognized the middle-class working mother across Indian metros. In its silver jubilee year, Meri Maggi or My Maggi was launched – a campaign to send in personal Maggi stories. It resulted in over 30,000 entries and was testimony to the deep roots that one 12-rupee packet of instant noodles had made in the everyday lives of Indians.
Dropping the lead, increasing competition
After having been the country’s most trusted brand at one point, tests ordered in 2015 found high levels of lead, leading to a 5-month ban and nation-wide recall, marring the enduring relationship that Indians had with their favorite noodles. Even though Maggi’s market dominance remained, other players were able to catch up including Sunfeast Yippee, Wai Wai, Top Ramen from Nissin and Knorr Soupy Noodles among others.