The case discusses the marketing and promotional strategies adopted by Nestlé India Ltd (NIL) to revive the Maggi brand in India. In June 2015, Maggi was banned for six months across India after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of India found much higher than permissible amounts of lead in samples of Maggi 2-Minute noodles – one of NIL’s best-selling products in India. The company had to recall 38,000 tons of Maggi noodles from millions of retail shelves across the country. After getting clearance from the apex court, the ban was relaxed in November 2015. The controversy affected the company significantly with Maggi losing over Rs10 billion in sales and its brand image suffering a serious blow. Suresh Narayanan (Narayanan), Managing Director of NIL, was on a mission to resurrect the beleaguered Maggi brand. The plan included spending heavily on advertising and brand building initiatives in addition to stepping up consumer engagement on the digital platforms.
The case discusses the measures taken by NIL to bring the Maggi brand back to life and regain the trust and confidence of customers. With ad campaigns such as ‘We Miss You Too’ and ‘Nothing Like Maggi’, the brand took an emotional route to reach out to its customers. However, the biggest challenge for NIL going forward would be to retain Maggi’s dominant position in the Indian noodles market in light of increasing competition.
In January 2018, marking 35 years of the presence of the iconic food brand Maggi in India, its parent company Nestlé India Ltd (NIL) launched a new marketing campaign aimed at clearing all fears about the safety of the product. The campaign contained two promotional videos. The first, a proposed television campaign ‘Kuch Achha Pak Raha Hai’ (something good is cooking), focused on the changing status of women. The other featured the complete manufacturing process of Maggi noodles wherein consumers got a view of the eight stages of making Maggi, from the farm to packaging in retail form.
In March 2014, a food inspector at the Uttar Pradesh government’s Food Safety and Drug Administration spotted the label on packets of Maggi noodles that claimed “no added MSG (monosodium glutamate )” during one of his routine raids on retail outlets. The sample was picked up and sent to the state laboratory at Gorakhpur for testing. The result that came back a few weeks later was positive – that particular sample of Maggi noodles contained MSG. Samples of Maggi noodles were then sent to the Central Food Laboratory in Kolkata in June 2014
Since the Maggi ban in 2015, NIL has revamped its marketing strategy to regain customer trust and increase sales. It had been creating a buzz for Maggi on social media stating how consumers had been missing their favorite ‘two-minute’ noodles
Following its re-entry, Maggi’s market share grew steadily in India. From 55% in June 2016, it rose to 60% by the end of 2016. The company reported a turnover of US$1.4 billion in 2016, up almost 13% over 2015. However, cost pressures and increased marketing spending led to subdued growth in profits, said experts.
What are your views on how maggi had a comeback? Do you think they did a good job at repositioning themselves or anything else could have done for the same. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!