MAGGI – The Debacle :

  • Analysis
  • 05-October-2015

MAGGI – The Debacle

In a world so driven by speed, appetite is something that can’t be loosely taken. But then, sometimes, be it a professional working citizen or a college sophomore, multitude want a quick delivery of morsels in their stomach. And what better than our very own Maggi could serve this purpose? In noodles market, Maggi has surpassed all its contenders. But this Nestle product has recently been in news due to the fiasco of its nationwide ban. Let’s look at its market, the issue and what other contenders in the echelon shall probably overtake the throne of noodles industry in India by Maggi.

Maggi Market

Indian Instant noodle market is world’s fifth largest market with more than 65-70% occupied by Nestle. Other prominent brands being Wai – Wai, Bambino, Sunfeast, MTR, and Top Ramen.  This global comfort food has completed almost three decades in India attaining a market size of Rs. 3,800 crore.

Maggi’s Main Rivals

  • Yippee!
Sunfeast Yippee! owned by Indian conglomerate ITC is often considered a tough competitor to Maggi. It made its entry in India in early 2000s and gradually had fair share of market. Yippee! Noodles are available in five different variants; namely, Classic Masala, Magic Masala, Chinese Masala, Tricolor Pasta (Creamy Corn) and Tricolor Pasta (Masala).
  • Top Ramen
Top Ramen, owned by the Japanese company Nissin, is another noodle contender in India. Nissin introduced its first noodle product in the Indian market in 1988. It took a while for Top Ramen to become one of the leading noodle brands in India. Different variants of Top Ramen noodles in India include Atta Noodles, Cup Noodles, Curry Veg Noodles, Oats Noodles, Scoopies Short Noodles and Super Noodles.
  • Ching's Secret
Ching's Secret is another popular noodle brand in India. It is a product of Capital Food Indian Limited. Ching's Secret is a stiff competition to the hitherto Maggi which was the top noodle brand in India. Ching's Secret offers diversity in its noodles to its customers that include Schezwan Instant Noodles, Singapore Curry Instant Noodles, Hot Garlic Instant Noodles, Egg Hakka Noodles and Veg Hakka Noodles.
Recent Maggi Issue

In May 2015, Food Safety Regulators from Uttar Pradesh discovered that Maggi-2-Minutes-Noodles contained high levels of monosodium glutamate (MSG) and lead which are both hazardous to human health.
On 3 June 2015, the New Delhi Government banned the sale of Maggi in New Delhi for 15 days following these findings in UP. On June 4, 2015, the Gujarat FDA banned the noodles for 30 days. Assam on same day banned sale of Maggi's chicken noodles for 30 days. Retailers like Future Group which includes Big Bazaar, Easyday and Nilgiris went on to impose a countrywide ban on Maggi.
And finally, on June 5, 2015, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) ordered a ban of all nine Maggi varieties and oats masala noodles from India, suggesting them “unsafe and hazardous for human consumption.”

Latest Update

On Aug 13, 2015, the nationwide ban was revoked by the Bombay High Court. The court said that no legitimate procedure was performed in issuing the ban across country and questioned the test results. In a press release by Nestle dated August 13, the statement proposes-

“Nestlé India respects the decision made on 13th August by the Honourable Bombay High Court to revoke the ban order passed by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and the Food and Drug Administration, Maharashtra on MAGGI Noodles and will comply with the order to undertake fresh tests. Nestlé India remains committed to working with the FSSAI, FDA Maharashtra and other stakeholders. It is Nestlé India’s endeavour to get MAGGI Noodles back on the shelves as soon as possible for the benefit of our consumers.”

Maggi was not just a food for Indians; it had made an emotional connect which have been back stabbed. Only time will tell - when and how Nestle will make- up for this lost trust.