Hindustan Unilever’s Knorr Soupy Noodles — touted as a product that would challenge the dominance of Nestle in the noodle market — has fallen below expectations and is poised for a relaunch.
Knorr managed to grab a marketshare of only 2.6% in a span of two years while even late entrant ITC’s Yippee captured a marketshare of 6% in a year, according to data from industry researcher Nielsen. Unable to make a dent in the noodles category, HUL is set to launch Knorr Soupy Noodles in a completely new avatar by December, company sources said. HUL is looking at a thorough overhaul — revisiting the packaging, taste and pricing."The noodles offering will be repositioned and relaunched soon," said an HUL executive on condition of anonymity. "The re-launch is still at the planning stage," he added. No more details were offered.
HUL declined to divulge any details. “We cannot comment on speculation regarding future plans and hence have no comments to offer on your query regarding re-launch,” said an HUL spokesperson.
“There were many expectations from the brand but it has not done well in the past, forcing HUL to take this step,” said industry analyst V Srinivasan of Angel Broking.
He said Nestle’s Maggi has been synonymous with noodles and both Nestle and ITC have also penetrated the market with Rs. 5 packs. India’s noodles market is estimated at over Rs. 3,000 crore in annual sales and includes pasta, vermicelli and instant noodles. It is growing at 20% per annum. Nestle is the market leader with 58.3% market share in the overall category and over 80% in the pure noodles category.