Humbled by response to Maggi but not intimidated by Ramdev's noodles, says Nestle chief

Mumbai: Nestle India on Wednesday said its Maggi brand of noodles is getting good traction in the market ever since it was reintroduced last November, and asserted that it is "not intimidated" by yoga guru Ramdev's noodles which got introduced during the same time.

On a comeback. Reuters

On a comeback. Reuters

"Every competitor energises the market, they do not intimidate the existing players," Nestle India chairman and
managing director Suresh Narayanan told reporters, when asked about the entry of the Patanjali brand of noodles.

"We have reintroduced Maggi across the country and the response has been overwhelming; we're truly humbled by the
consumer response," he told reporters on the sidelines of the annual Nasscom summit in Mumbai.

Last month, the yoga guru had claimed that his Patanjali brand of noodles would soon oust Maggi as the top brand in the country.

According to domestic brokerage IIFL, Patanjali is expected to clock sales of Rs 20,000 crore by 2019-20, from a
turnover of Rs 2,000 crore in 2014-15.

When asked if the emergence of competition, especially something like Patanjali that claims to be a healthier
alternative, would result in a change in the way Maggi is being manufactured now, Narayanan replied in the negative.

Narayanan said the company has also introduced the chicken variant of the popular noodles and is selling it over
e-commerce major Snapdeal.

In the immediate future, the company is looking at introducing other variants of the noodles and also introduce
newer products in other categories like dairy, coffee and chocolates, he added.

The newer products that Nestle is planning to launch will be both high-end and mass consumption ones, he said.

Narayanan said Maggi used to contribute a fourth of revenues for Nestle India and with time, he hopes to increase
the share.

"With the coming back of Maggi, there'll be a revival of fortunes for us. I'm not unrealistic, it will be a process
and it will evolve gradually," he said.

The company will look "aggressively" at opportunities of selling its products through the e-commerce portals, which
are used increasingly by the youth, he said.

When asked about the marketing spends on Maggi's re-launch, Narayanan said it is "significant" enough to "make
a dent".

Following the nationwide ban in June last year, the company had reported net losses for the first time in over
three decades in the September quarter.


Updated Date: Feb 10, 2016 22:26 PM

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