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There's an Indian in almost every part of the world or we would've had a Buzzfee

d article titled 'Five Cities With No Indians' by now. And there's been a long t
radition of mothers sending their abroad-based children some homemade pickle and
gazillion other food items they won't find in the foreign land. One such mother
had sent her 11-year old living in Asmara (North-East Africa) a 10kg crate stuf
fed with the one food item she missed the most
Maggi noodles.
It probably isn't hyperbole to say that there are as many Maggi stories as the p
opulation of the country as per 2011 census (1.21 billion). Little wonder then t
hat the brand climbed up from 10th to fifth rank in our 2014 edition of India's
Most Trusted Brands. The Indian noodle space is estimated to be upwards of Rs 2,
200 crore. And enjoys a CAGR of 20%, which makes it a no-brainer for other playe
rs to take a shot at ousting Maggi of its enviable 70% share of the current pie.
Many have, in the past, tried to climb the noodle string to reach the gold. Sad
ly for them, there are no Rapunzels in the real world.
There's quite a few of them vying for Maggi's place
Nissin Foods' Top Ramen, GSK
's Foodles, Sunfeast's Yippie, Ching's range of noodles, Knorr's Soupy Noodles,
Future Group's Tasty Treat and finally the cup noodle king Wai Wai (Chaudhary Gr
oup).
It's not like Maggi is this invincible mammoth that none of these players have b
een able to move off the ground. The share has gone down, albeit only by a fract
ion. Sunfeast's Yippie is known to be gaining popularity despite coming off as t
rying too hard with one of their taglines "It's better, no?" GSK's Foodles plays
well on the health card leveraging the 'I hate Maggi because it's unhealthy' gr
oup. And Wai Wai gets an edge with its cup noodles format. Too bad for Knorr Sou
py Noodles that Indian kids aren't into soups yet. To sell them a combination of
soup and noodles would mean an exercise on building a separate niche altogether
.
That said, there are a host of things that make Maggi an unassailable brand. One
is the fact that they are a living testimony of the first mover advantage what
with literally creating the market in the mid-80s. Joono Simon, ECD of Ogilvy Be
ngaluru says, "For anyone who grew up in the 80s and 90s, Maggi is a reminder of
their youth. The days of humble beginnings and midnight hunger pangs in college
hostels."
Then, they got the right start with the 'Fast to Cook, Good to Eat' campaign.
Some of us were toddlers around the time this was on air. "We wanted Maggi to be
a mother's ally. Give her a tasty snack she could whip up for her famished chil
d in two minutes," explains Shivani Hegde, GM - Foods at Nestle India. It never
takes two minutes but who's complaining, right? The essence of their tastemaker
(seasoning) has compensated for more than the wait.