aggis turned 25 and it is still going strong, but there are challenges ahead. Few ad jingles have survived 25 years. Some long-playing ones like Lifebuoy have been discontinued, while others like Titan are yet to celebrate their silver jubilee. Nestlé‟s Maggi has stuck to the jingle that marked its entry in the country 25 years ago with instant noodles.The jingle has indeed helped in creating a formidable brand. Maggi‟s market share is well above 90 per cent. It hasseen no serious rival in the years it has been around, though some FMCG companies like ITC have tried to attack itsflanks by launching ready-to-eat pasta. A survey carried out by the National Council of Applied Economic Researchnamed Maggi the country‟s most valued FMCG brand. Only briefly in 25 years has the brand taken on board acelebrity (actress Preity Zinta). Maggi is the biggest brand in the Nestlé portfolio in the country, having overtakenNescafé in the earlier part of the decade. So, why kill the jingle.In fact, the campaign designed by Nestlé for Maggi‟s silver jubilee hopes to work on the brand‟s strong consumerconnect through television, the Internet and print. The jingle gets a prominent play in the television campaign. Nestlé,India‟s largest food products company, has decided not to litter the sky with hoardings on the occasion. Instead, theads will play on nostalgia. Consumers who first sampled the brand as kids now run households. The campaign seeksto strengthen the association.Thus, customers will be invited to share their “Maggi moments” with the company. If the company likes the way youprepare Maggi, you could find your photo on Maggi packs. A new website called www.meandmerimaggi.com is alsoin the works.Convenience was the unique selling proposition of Maggi when it was launched 25 years ago. For the first time,consumers got something that was hygienically packed and convenient to prepare. It was also the first fusionexperiment on food in India. Instant noodles was an entirely new category in the country, but it was given an Indiantwist. Maggi came in four variants: Masala, chicken, sweet & sour and capsicum. Of these, only two have survived —masala and chicken which sells largely in the eastern states. Masala continues to be the flagship flavour. In the daysthat followed, it experimented with more variants, like a garlic- and onion-free one for Gujarat. Some of these stillexist, others were discontinued. The turning point came in 2005, when Nestlé came out with Maggi atta (whole-wheat flour) instant noodles. All over the country, atta is considered healthier than maida or refined flour which the company was using from day one. This helped the company take the health platform, though Nestlé General Manager (food business) Shivani Hegde insists that the product never ran the danger of being classified junk food. It was then that it added the tagline, health bhi, taste bhi (health as well as taste). Maggi‟s properties were expanded from convenience alone to include taste and health as well. “It is an ally to the mother in the kitchen to make tasty and healthy food with convenience,” says she.That was also the time when Nestlé was repositioning itself worldwide as a health and wellness company. At thegrassroots level, Maggi started associating with quiz contests and other such events connected to mental andphysical wellbeing.This positioning gave Nestlé the platform to launch more products under the Maggi brand. It already had Maggisoups, sauces and coconut milk in the market, but given the strong equity of the brand, Nestlé could now extend it tonewer categories. Thus, it recently came out with fried masala paste. More categories could follow, though Hegde istight-lipped about it. But these could be distinctly Indian products. At the moment, over 90 per cent of the Maggiproducts in the country cannot be found elsewhere in the world.Not that all Maggi brand extensions have met with success in the past. Nestlé had launched its Maggi range ofpickles some years back. But the product was withdrawn. It has also experimented with Maggi soup cubes, the salesof which are now restricted to a handful of markets in the country.
Two reports recently put out by investment analysts, one by IDFC-SSKI Securities and the other by Citi InvestmentResearch, say that the slowdown in the urban markets could impact adversely Nestlé‟s prepared dishes and cookingaids business which accounts for 21 per cent of the company‟s annual revenue. Maggi, in other words, could becomea victim of down-trading. “Nestlé may not gain significantly in an economic recovery led by the rural sector given itshigh urban exposure,” says the Citi report released early-March.Hegde says that there is no evidence of down-trading so far.Still, the company is taking no chances and is extending its distribution reach to smaller towns and cities. Maggihappens to be Nestlé‟s most widely distributed brand in the country. Through independent channels, it reaches thosevillages where the company has no presence, according to Hegde. This is also the time that Maggi‟s value-for-moneypack priced at Rs 5 is expected to come handy. (The regular pack comes for Rs 10.) “It is no longer an aspirationalproduct for any socio-economic category of consumers,” says Hegde.The IDFC-SSKI report says that almost 60 per cent of the FMCG volumes in the country come from price pointsbelow Rs 10. The share of such products for Nestlé has improved from 21 per cent some years ago to 30 per centnow and is expected to rise further. This is a clear indication of the company‟s pricing strategy.In the recent past, Nestlé has moved fast to plug any flank that could be attacked by rivals. It first launched Maggi ricenoodles targeted at consumers in the east and south, where rice for the staple meal. Next, it came out with instantnoodles in a cup which is ready to eat after pouring some hot water in it. This was meant for consumption on the go,including offices. It was a product for the urban markets. The volumes might be low but it has a wide lead over anycompany which might target these categories.But some challenges remain. Large retailers like Vishal Retail have decided to launch instant noodles under their ownprivate label. These are priced 25 per cent below Maggi, yet give the retailers a profit margin of up to 30 per cent.FMCG companies, in contrast, offer retailers margins between 12 per cent and 15 per cent. Hence, they havedecided to push their own labels to improve their profit margins.The same retailers, to be sure, had driven Nestlé‟s growth in the last two years, the IDFC-SSKI report says. “Nestlé‟sproduct portfolio is best suited to the Indian consumerism story and rides piggyback the organised retail platform.However, organised retail is seeing a slowdown…in metro markets it is also seeing a decline.” These are issues thatHegde, a veteran of over 20 years at Nestlé, and her team need to address in the days to come.Analysts and sector experts admit that Maggi is no longer an impulse purchase like a chocolate or an aeratedbeverage. “It is now on the shopping list of most people,” says Technopak Advisors Associate Vice-presidentPurnendu Kumar. But some of them say the brand has got straitjacketed as an evening snack eaten by children.Indeed, much of Maggi‟s promotion is centred on kids.Hegde says instant noodles are now consumed right through the day by all members of the family, young and old.Some Maggi ads clearly show that it is targeted at all family members. Nowhere in the world does Nestlé sell suchlarge volumes of instant noodles as in India. Hegde hopes to grow, notwithstanding the urban slowdown.
Maggi (pronounced [ˈmaɡi]) is a Nestlé brand of instant soups, stocks, bouilloncubes, ketchups, sauces, seasonings and instant noodles. The original company came into existence in1872 in Switzerland, when Julius Maggi took over his fathers mill. He quickly became a pioneer ofindustrial food production, aiming to improve the nutritional intake of worker families. Maggi was the firstto bring protein-rich legume meal to the market, and followed up with a ready-made soup based onlegume meal in 1886. In 1897, Julius Maggi founded the company Maggi GmbH in the German townof Singen where it is still established today.In parts of Europe, Mexico, Malaysia, Brunei, German-speaking countries and the Netherlands, CzechRepublic, Slovenia, Slovakia, Poland and France, "Maggi" is still synonymous with the brands "Maggi-Würze" (Maggi seasoning sauce), a dark, hydrolysed vegetable protein based sauce which is very similar to East Asian soy sauce except that it does not actually contain soy. It was introduced in 1886, as acheap substitute for meat extract. It has since become a well-known part of everyday culinary culture inSwitzerland, Austria and especially in Germany. It is also well known in Poland and the Netherlands.The bouillon cube or "Maggi cube", which was another meat substitute product, was introduced in 1908, .Because chicken and beef broths are so common in the cuisines of many different countries, thecompanys products have a large worldwide market.In 1947, following several changes in ownership and corporate structure, Maggis holding companymerged with the Nestlé company to form Nestlé-Alimentana S.A., currently known initsfrancophone homebase as Nestlé S.A..Today, Maggi is known throughout the world for its dry soups, seasoning sauce and instant noodledishes. In New Zealand Maggi Onion Soup mix is often combined with reduced cream to create an Onion Dip for Potato Chips that has come to be generally accepted as a Kiwi favorite.In India, Maggi instant noodles are a favorite for an anytime meal.From dorm rooms of school/colleges tolate night cooking in home kitchens, its an all time favorite.In West Africa and parts of the Middle East, Maggi cubes are used as part of the local cuisine.Throughout Latin America, Maggi products, especially bouillon cubes, are widely sold with somerepackaging to reflect local terminology. In the German, Dutch and Danish languages, lovage has cometo be known as "Maggi herb" (Ger. Maggikraut, Du. maggikruid or Da. maggiurt), because it tastes similarto Maggi sauce, although lovage is not present in the sauce.In Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam Maggi seasoning sauce is a popular condiment, and the bottles arefamiliar sights on restaurant tables.
The story behind MaggiIn the early 1980s India was opening up to the world after three and a half decades of self-existence. Till then, the concept of “fast food” was practically non-existent. Nestle hadalready been pipped to the post by Cadbury in the milk chocolate segment and it desperatelywanted to create a niche for itself in the high potential Indian market. It was then that itrealized that it could be a first-mover in the untapped “instant food” segment.Several years went by and a lot of money was spent and Maggi Noodles was born. Theproblems had only just begun. The biggest of them was the Indian psyche of the 80s. Theconservatism which India showed in their culture boiled down to their palate also. Theywould rather stick to their Tandoori Chicken or Idli Sambhar than be a little moreadventurous in trying a new taste. Maggi Noodles was a new taste from a new culture.It was then that Maggi Noodles became Maggi Instant Two-Minute Noodles. The wholepoint was to position Maggi as platform of convenience and soul food for the a fast growingsection of the Indian population – the working women. Heavy promotion was done on thesame lines.But even this did not work. Sales were good but not as good as they wanted it to be. Aresearch was carried out which revealed that the largest consumers of the brand were notthe working women but young children in the Indian households.Realizing this, Nestle repositioned their brand using new promotional strategies and smartadvertising. Marketing teams were sent out to schools to distribute free Maggi samples totake home. The kids would inevitably take their Maggi packets home and ask their mothersto prepare it for lunch or as a snack. The mothers would find that it took them only twominutes to make a proper hot meal for their children who would love it. They would refer itto their neighbors who would pass it on to distant bachelor cousins who lived alone and hadto cook for themselves. Thus, the hugely successful viral campaign ensured that Maggicreated a distinct affection in the hearts of its consumers unlike any other proprietary foodof its time.
But the story was far from over. In 1997, Nissin – theinventor of instant noodles – launched its flagship brand Top Ramen in the Indian marketwith Shah Rukh Khan – fresh from the success of super hits like Dilwale Dulhania LeJayenge – endorsing the brand. It was then that Maggi took its first false step – it changedits taste to align itself with that of Top Ramen’s.The results were disastrous. A generation which had grown up on Maggi could not acceptthe new taste and would rather give Top Ramen a try. Nestle was fast losing ground toNissin. It took them two years to work out a new strategy – accept the consumer’s verdictand get back to the basics. In 1999, Maggi relaunched itself with its original taste. It paid offhandsomely and the faithfuls returned to their master. Top Ramen could no longer sustainthe growth it built up in the two years.The next big hurdle came in 2004. The SARS epidemic of 2003 in South East Asia had led towidespread concerns regarding personal hygiene and health. Mothers were now moreconcerned regarding what their children were eating and maida in general was alwaysconsidered to be low on the health aspect.In 2005 Maggi launched Atta Noodles with the tagline “Taste bhi, health bhi.” Although theadvertisements showed Atta Noodles replacing the rotis and chapatis, this was neverMaggi’s intention. It knew that thinking about that objective was a far cry and the mainpurpose was to convince mothers that their children was eating the right thing. In thissense, it scored over the Licia and Bambino semolina-based Macaroni products,which, though being an healthier alternative to Maggi, always tried to position themselvesas a substitute for wheat based items of daily consumption. Within 10 months, Maggi AttaNoodles was declared a success and now they are foraying further with the “Taste bhi,Health bhi” campaign with products such as Multi-Grain Noodles.The above examples show that Maggi as a brand knows the customer and is
willing to learn from its mistakes. It knows that its USP is convenience to makeand good to eat and it sticks to that without pushing the envelope further in itscampaigns. It has also leveraged its success to other food products – the mostnotable of which is the Maggi ketchup which has garnered a market leaderposition of about 45% largely thanks to the Maggi brand and its positioning as a“Different” product ( Remember the tagline – Its different!). The savior ofmany students (and especially the ones staying in hostels), there is little doubtas to why many regard Maggi as the gre
Maggi: From two minutes to 25 yearsBy Khushboo Tanna, afaqs!, Mumbai, April 23, 2009Section: News Category: AdvertisingShareOn its 25th anniversary, Nestlé’s Maggi has launched a campaign, inviting consumers to sharetheir Maggi MomentsFrom a midnight snack to a lonesome bachelor‟s emergency meal, Nestlé‟s Maggi has, over time, been a part ofnearly everyone‟s life. The instant noodle snack brand -- which is also one of the instant packaged food products thatIndian consumers were exposed to -- is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.To make consumers part of the brand‟s journey, its latest communication talks about various memories peopleassociate with Maggi. The ad has been conceptualised by Publicis India. “It gives you a feeling of nostalgia, andworks on the basic truth that everyone has at least one Maggi story to tell,” says Emmanuel Upputuru, nationalcreative director, Publicis India.Hemant Mishra, president and chief operating officer, Publicis India, goes a step further and declares that the ad is aco-creation of the brand and the consumer. Whenever there is mention of Maggi, a consumer will immediately starttalking about his favourite style to cook/consume it, he says, while sharing an incident that happened with his ownchildren. While they were on a family vacation to Leh, they came across Maggi that was cooked in local spices, whichbecame an instant hit with his children. The new campaign is “inspired” by such truths, he explains.Maggi is born: The product journey
Back in 1984, instant noodles were an entirely new category. Maggi was then available in four variants -- Masala,Chicken, Sweet and Sour and Capsicum. It is now available in Chicken, Masala, Tomato and Curry variants.In 2005, Nestlé introduced Maggi Atta instant noodles and then Maggi Rice Mania as well. Both of these, apparently,couldn‟t match the original Maggi. Other products from the Maggi stable include Maggi Cuppa Mania, Maggi Sauces,Maggi Bhuna Masala, Maggi Healthy Soups and Maggi Magic Cubes.Elements that have stayed constant in any Maggi film include the jingle -- „Maggi, Maggi, Maggi‟ in a sing-song voice,the family setting, and the „two minutes‟ promise, which started off as a USP, but took a backseat eventually.Maggi has generally stayed away from taking the celebrity endorsement route. The only exception was roping inactor, Preity Zinta for a brief period, to promote the Rs 5 Chotu Maggi and the Maggi family packs. According toMishra, all ads for the brand usually focus on the mother-child relationship; therefore, the brand has deliberatelystayed away from celebrity endorsements. “The mother and child are the celebrities for Maggi,” he states.Cooking up a nostalgic storyThe latest Maggi ad opens with a voiceover, which says that one has many memories attached with Maggi over aperiod of 25 years. The ad is a collection of short vignettes, showcasing consumers‟ memories of Maggi. Forinstance, one child remembers eating Maggi on a camping trip; while another person remembers serving Maggi,when people were stuck in the Mumbai floods.The ad concludes with consumers being invited to share their own Maggi story, through which they can get a chanceto feature on the Maggi packs or ads. The film has been directed by Arun Gopalan from Storytellers.IN. The team thathas worked on Maggi include Anindya Banerjee, Ashutosh Sawhney, Vishal Chemjong, Sudhir Das, Niloy Som,Lobsang Wangchen, Hozefa Alibhai, Istling Mirc and Smriti Chawla.As a part of its promotional drive, Maggi has launched a website, meandmeri.in, where consumers can upload theirMaggi moments and submit their favourite Maggi recipe. Consumers, whose stories or recipes are a hit with thecompany, will get a chance to be featured on Maggi packs or ads.The aftertasteafaqs! spoke to industry professionals to find out whether this bowlful of Maggi is yummy or not.
Charles Victor, national creative director, Law & Kenneth, admits that he has grown up watching Maggi commercials,but as far as this communication is concerned, he is unsure what the attempt is. “Is it about a generation that grew upon it? Or that weve all had moments when Maggi bailed us out? Or is it to let people know Maggi has been aroundfor 25 years? But we already know most of that!” he declares. He adds that he did connect to some of the storiesshowcased in the commercial and the brand still continues to connect with him, the way it did years ago.Saji Abraham, vice-president, planning, Lowe, says that Maggi has realised that an entire generation has grown upon it and that it has a bank of nostalgia to fall back on. “This is a very interesting space for Maggi to get into and hasrich potential. Imagine the strange places and memories we have attached to eating and cooking Maggi,” he adds.Furthermore, he feels that nostalgia should be a theme for some time, because only a handful of brands have theprivilege of accessing that.Suchitra Gahlot, executive creative director, Bates 141, is of the opinion that everyone has their own Maggi story andeveryone believes their way is the best. Coming from a real truth, the commercial does a good job of capturing thesemoments in people‟s lives. “While a story or two could be a touch more emotive, overall, I think the commercial issuccessful in creating a „Me and Meri Maggi‟ idea,” she says.The ad is good for reinforcing brand loyalty, feel some. Says Atisihi Pradhan, senior vice- president and executiveplanning director, Contract, “My first reaction when I saw the ad was: Why would consumers be interested in abrands birthday?” But she concedes that the silver jubilee is an afterthought -- what the campaign actually does is getconsumers to remember why they love the brand and how it fits into their lives.
“On a personal note,” she adds, having worked on the brand many moons ago, “I miss the original music score; thismodern musical adaptation is not as endearing.”The new rendition of the jingle has been crafted by composer, Vipin MisrCampaign Analysis: Maggi goes the Buzz way !Maggi has come up with a new integrated campaign, for its new noodles flavor, launched in the form of a varietyof teaser and hype-generating commercials. The crux of the current set of commercials show people trying to‘guess the taste‘, or in other words, the main flavor of the new taste. (Maggi says that the taste is so great that theywere unable to zero in on anything specific, and hence they ask you to tell them the taste)This is an extensive campaign by Maggi for this new product launch, ranging from TVCs, online Facebook activity,Video Submissions (UGCs) as well as packaging change (the new product has a dedicated temporary packaging onthe theme of ‘guess the taste’).The campaign was initiated along with the ads of the other recent launches of Maggi, Tricky Tomato,Thrillin Curry and Romantic Capsica, as can be seen on the commercials listed on this Nestlewebpage:Nestle ProductsThe aim, obviously, is to create a stir . Their own regular Masala Maggi is so strong a brand, that even forMaggi to launch a new product in the market, a bang is needed to make people notice. Maggi has almostgained the generic brand status among noodles, and it being such a power brand, the marketers of thenew flavor knew that the campaign has to be big to at least grab sufficient attention.Maggi, the undisputed (though not unchallenged) leader in the Rs 1300 Crore Indian market (with 85%market share) is now taking actions to protect its turf. Earlier, there were minor regional and small scaleplayers attacking Maggi, such as Wai Wai and Indo-Nissin‟s Top Ramen (Even though Top Ramenbrought on an abassador no less than SRK!!). But now, the biggest of the bigshots in the industry, HUL(Knorr), GSK (Horlicks Foodles) and ITC (Sunfeast Yippee) have tossed their hats in the ring, challengingMaggi to respond. The market is heating up, and the leader was bound to respond.Maggi‟s other launches in recent times, such as Vegetable Atta Noodles, Multi-grainz, etc, in my view,were less about boosting sales than about protecting against flank attacks. These „healthy‟ variants werebackup option to keep in hand, under attack by other health-oriented campaigns by Knorr and Foodles.Knorr, with its soup-association, and Foodles, carried by Horlicks brand equity, are particularly well placedto leverage on the health angle.But now, the newer flavors are the latest offensive reaction from Maggi. They add diversity of taste in theproduct portfolio. They have recognized that the Classic Maggi Masala, while a huge driver of sales,forming a chunk of their revenues, has been quite unchanged for years now. They understand that theconsumer wants variation in taste from time-to-time. It is this need for variation that is being tackled here.They want that if a consumer wants to try something different, he should go for other flavors from theirown stable instead of going to the competitors. The newest flavor, accompanied by the biggest campaign,
might just be the boost that Maggi needs in the Maturity stage of its Product Life Cycle to take on newchallenges, and to hedge some risks from being solely dependent on one product variant.The campaign, in my opinion, is an excellent one, although the product (having tried it myself today!)lacks the sort of pull which the campaign is building upon. (It could be because I am myself a die-hardMaggi Masala fanatic and instinctively rejected the new variant). But still, the market is built aroundthemetros and tier-1 cities, and with rapidly changing taste preferences, who knows what might catch thecustomer fancy!P.S.: This is the second major step that Maggi has taken to stamp its authority, with the first one being thepopular viral campaign about „Me and Meri wali Maggi‟. (I would venture to say that Maggi‟s campaignsare a marketing purist‟s delight, first with the viral campaign and now this buzz marketing endeavor. Theyare taking pure marketing strategies and molding them to best fit the consumer appetite)