Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Brand Update : Maggi

Maggi has launched its product in the growing Pasta market recently. The variant called Maggi Nutri-licious Paazta is Maggi's major new brand extension in recent times. The Indian pasta market is still in nascent stage with a market size or around Rs 50 crore ( source) but growing very fast.

Maggi pioneered the noodles market in India 25 years back but was not the brand which created the pasta category. The credit goes to Sunfeast which first launched a National brand in this category.

Maggi decided to jump into this Pasta bandwagon for obvious reasons. There is a lot of customer interest in this category. Indian consumers are now more adventurous in their food habits. The Gen Y is mesmerized with the exposure to various cuisines thanks to the media. So there is no dearth of innovators in this segment. Once you get into the good books of these foodies, the flock follow.

Maggi's move was further endorsed when Domino's forayed into the Pasta market with their offerings . So this market is going to see lot of action.

Maggi is currently running a TVC for their Pasta variant : Watch it here

The ad is very similar to the Noodles positioning and both pasta and noodles are sharing a common tagline(with a slight variation) . Paazta uses the tagline " Health bhi, taste bhi, happiness bhi"

One marketing practice reader observed the risk of Maggi moving into a different product category ( brand extension) . He opined that the equity of Maggi will be lost because of this extension . Personally , I differ because Nestle had slowly but surely developed Maggi as an umbrella brand for their food products. They have launched the soups and sauces under this brand. And the brand is doing well in these extensions.

Maggi is currently addressing a category competition. The brand feels that pasta can have a negative impact on its noodles business. For consumers, they view these products as snacks. For such customers, Maggi needed to offer pasta choice otherwise they will move to a competing brand. The current brand extension will have all the disadvantages of brand dilution and cannibalization . But on a broader perspective, it is a matter of survival and category leadership.

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