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Despite ban, Maggi back to winning ways after a year: Nestle

Maggi was banned by FSSAI in June 2015 citing presence of lead beyond permissible limits and labeling regulations on taste enhancer 'MSG'. At the time, Nestle India withdrew the product from the market.


Despite ban, Maggi back to winning ways after a year: Nestle

New Delhi: A year after Maggi made a comeback following a ban of over five months, Nestle India is looking to consolidate its leadership position in the noodles segment, and re-grow the overall category that has shrunk due to trust issues with consumers over food safety.

Besides, the company which launched 25 to 30 new products across categories in the last three months, is working to grow the categories in its pursuit.

"The (Maggi) brand was clinically dead in June 2015 when the crisis happened but at the same time, I am happy to say that today, it is knocking at 60 percent market share and we are back to leadership," Nestle India Chairman and Managing Director Suresh Narayanan told PTI.

Maggi was banned by FSSAI in June 2015 citing presence of lead beyond permissible limits and labeling regulations on taste enhancer 'MSG'. At the time, Nestle India withdrew the product from the market.

Before the ban, Maggi commanded a market share of around 75 percent. Following legal battles, the popular noodles brand was back in the market in November last year.

"We are not yet back to where we were but we still have a journey to traverse but we are back strongly to leadership," Narayanan said.

According to estimates, in 2015, the overall noodles segment in India was valued at around Rs 2,300 crore.

"This is about 20-30 percent less than what it should have been...Because of the unfortunate seed of doubt that was planted on Maggi, two things happened -- one was that level of trust in noodles itself became a suspect because we were the market leader by far," he said.

"To a certain extent, the category was shrunk because the market leader was not there and the category came into question," he added.

Some of the other categories in snacking such as biscuits and chips have been beneficiaries from the Maggi episode, he felt.

When asked by when Nestle India expects Maggi to achieve pre-ban market share, he said: "It is difficult to put a time."

With the whole episode behind, Nestle India is now looking ahead with renewed vigour and focus on nutrition while expanding in other categories in oder to be counted among the best FMCG firm in India.

"We have in the last three months launched 25-30 new products across categories, not just in Maggi but in coffee, chocolates and confectionery, milk and nutritions, in all our portfolio. This is the single largest window of the new product launches that Nestle India has undertaken in its 104 years of history in the country," he said. 

Narayanan further said: "This came directly out of that desire to do what we do best as a company. To offer quality, safe products and nutritious products across variety of categories we operate in."

When asked if the company planned to continue with the slew of product launches, he said: "The challenge for Nestle, which operates over 2,000 brands globally, is not what to launch but when to launch. The mandate that I have taken for myself and for my team, is to keep continuing the engine of innovation and renovation in fast changing India."

For the next two quarters, the company will assess the performance of the new products and see which ones are to be continued and which needed a re-look, he said.

From Zee News

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