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Rivals offer discounts, freebies to take on Maggi 2.0

India’s popular noodle brand, Maggi, is finally back on the shelves after a 5-month hiatus. While Nestlé is leaving no stone unturned to regain lost marketshare, rivals, including Unilever, Patanjali and newly-launched Joymee, too, are upping the ante.

business Updated: Nov 22, 2015 23:03 IST
India’s popular noodle brand, Maggi, is finally back on the shelves after a 5-month hiatus. While Nestlé is leaving no stone unturned to regain lost marketshare, rivals, including Unilever, Patanjali and newly-launched Joymee, too, are upping the ante.
India’s popular noodle brand, Maggi, is finally back on the shelves after a 5-month hiatus. While Nestlé is leaving no stone unturned to regain lost marketshare, rivals, including Unilever, Patanjali and newly-launched Joymee, too, are upping the ante.(HT Photo)

India’s popular noodle brand, Maggi, is finally back on the shelves after a 5-month hiatus. While Nestlé is leaving no stone unturned to regain lost marketshare, rivals, including Unilever, Patanjali and newly-launched Joymee, too, are upping the ante.

Their strategy — discounts and freebies along with your favourite packet of noodles.

Sample this.

Unilever is offering Rs 15 as cashback in mobile wallet app Paytm on the purchase of its Knorr Soupy Noodles. There are also cartoon-themed trolley bags for the first 10,000 users, according to Knorr’s television ad.

When contacted, Unilever refused to comment.

Ramdev’s Patanjali is also selling its atta noodles at a price lower than Maggi — Rs 15 against Nestle’s Rs 25. “Price is a big differentiator for us…We are able to provide the noodles at much cheaper prices compared to Maggi or any other noodles. We are selling our product Rs 10 cheaper than Maggi,” said Acharya Bal Krishna, managing director, Patanjali Ayurved.

Indonesian food products company, Inbisco, is also looking to cash in on the fast-growing Indian instant noodles market with Joymee. It is offering separate topping of crunchy onion as its differentiating factor, priced lower at Rs 10 against Maggi’s regular price tag of Rs 12.

The category is expected to witness intense competition in the coming two months, retail experts said. “It would not be a surprise if some kind of price war breaks out, since each player would want to rebuild the marketshare,” said Arvind Singhal, chairman of retail consultancy, Technopak.

According to Technopak, the instant noodles categoty is worth around Rs 3,500 crore, and before the ban, Maggi had about 60% marketshare.