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Maggi Vs other Noodles

Baba Ramdev launched the much awaited ‘Patanjali Atta Noodles’, a new range of product in ‘instant noodles’category. Ramdev’s ‘Patanjali Ayurveda’ with its new product hopes to capture the market which was lost by Maggi. Patanjali noodles will use rice-bran oil and not cheap and inferior palm oil as used by others, the company release said. Patanjali noodles will be available at Rs. 15, whereas, other noodles too are available in different prices and sizes. As per my knowledge, none of the branded noodles are manufactured in palm oil. Baba Ramdev has said that the noodles “will be made from whole wheat flour (atta), not like noodles of other companies which are made up of maida and has only 10 per cent atta”. Baba was more interested in attacking other products in the market than launching his own product. However and whatever the ‘health-maker’ in Baba Ramdev’s instant noodles may be but ‘taste-maker’ used in Maggi will never be replaced by any products. Patanjali claims that their noodle does not have lead or taste enhancer monosodium glutamate (MSG).

The noodles contain no lead or MSG. “Jhat pat pakao, aur befikr khao” is the catchline of the Patanjali noodles. Baba Ramdev also hinted at a range of baby products, he plans to launch next. Another product Patanjali plans to introduce sometime soon is Powervita, a health drink for children that will compete with brands like Complan, Horlicks and Bournvita. The Baba Ramdev -owned Patanjali group had a turnover of Rs. 1200 crores in 2014 and a projected turnover of Rs. 2000 crores in 2015.

In the meantime, Maggi might be back in the market setting the sales through e-commerce on fire, but the legal troubles for Maggi seem to worsen with the Centre backing the Maharashtra government decision to challenge the Bombay High Court order in the Supreme Court. The Maharashtra government had been mulling over a challenge to lifting of ban on Maggi. After clean chit by HC appointed labs, Nestle re-launched Maggi on Nov 9. Maggi comes back with flash sale on Snapdeal. A question is bound to come up about Government’s motive, intention and if there was a conspiracy behind first raising objection, then banning and then re-launch and then challenging the comeback. All this is happening to give boost to Babaji’s noodles? All laboratories that conducted earlier tests approved the product. According to the test reports, there was no question of doubting veracity of reports on lead, MSG content. Due to fast cooking properties; instant noodles today have occupied an important position in almost every Indian kitchen. Since most of the women in urban India are working, instant noodles and ready-to-eat foods are slowly and steadily replacing the traditional rice and pulses.

Maggi is favourite among all the children in the country; noodles have come a long way since their introduction in 1983. Consumed in almost every Indian household (prior to the lead and MSG controversy), Maggi, which was initially considered as a snack, had taken the place of a staple diet in many Indian homes. Owing to the fast paced lives today, packaged and ready-to-eat foods are gaining quite a formidable share in the Indian food market.

However, according to market experts, Nestle India’s Maggi noodles, which has been dominating the instant noodles market in India for nearly three decades, is currently witnessing tough competition with a number of new entrants such as Sunfeast Yippee!, Hindustan Unilever’s (HUL) Knorr Soupy Noodles, Top Ramen and Ching’s Secret.

Maggi is a product of Nestle India, a subsidiary of the Nestle Group of Switzerland. It goes without saying that Nestle India’s Maggi is still undoubtedly the top noodle brand in India.

In 2015, Maggi got entangled in a major controversy when a few samples of Maggi were tested and found ‘unsafe and hazardous’ for human consumption. The tests concluded that Maggi contained much higher levels of monosodium glutamate (MSG) and lead than what was permissible. The findings of the tests were followed by bans on Maggi in many states across and outside India. Though, Nestle denied the allegations that Maggi was ‘unsafe and hazardous’ to human health, it pulled back all the stocks from across the country.

Another popular noodle brand in India is Sunfeast Yippee!, which belongs to the Indian conglomerate ITC. Yippee made its way into the Indian market in the first decade of the 2000s and gradually made a considerable presence. By the early 2010s, Yippee! had started giving market leader Maggi some sort of competition. Yippee! Noodles are available in five different variants; namely, Classic Masala, Magic Masala, Chinese Masala, Tricolor Pasta (Creamy Corn) and Tricolor Pasta (Masala).

Top Ramen, by Nissin, is another leading noodle brand in India. Nissin is a Japanese company that introduced its first noodle product in 1958 but entered the Indian market 30 years later in 1988. It took a while for Top Ramen to become one of the leading noodle brands in India. Different variants of Top Ramen noodles in India include Atta Noodles, Cup Noodles, Curry Veg Noodles, Oats Noodles, Scoopies Short Noodles and Super Noodles.

Ching’s Secret is a product of Capital Food Indian Limited. Another brand of noodles in India produced by Capital Food India Limited is Smith & Jones. But Ching’s Secret is the more popular one and is giving stiff competition to the top noodle brands in India. Ching’s Secret offers a vast range of products to its customers that include Schezwan Instant Noodles, Singapore Curry Instant Noodles, Hot Garlic Instant Noodles, Egg Hakka Noodles and Veg Hakka Noodles.

Knorr Soupy Noodles is a product of Hindustan Unilever and has turned out to be a popular brand in India of late. Knorr is famous for its unique range of soups in India and is the leading brand for the same but has earned accolades for its unique combination of noodles and soup, that is, Knorr Soupy Noodles. Knorr noodles range consists of Mast Masala Soupy Noodles, Knorr Chinese Noodle Hot Spicy, Knorr Chinese Noodle Schezwan, Chinese Noodles and Fried Rice.

Now, it’s interesting to see who will be the actual buyers of Baba’s product and how those noodles gonna make its way in the market.

Dr Vaidehi Taman
Dr Vaidehi an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with Honourary Doctorate in Journalism, Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. for 11 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazines like Hackers5, Beyond The News (international) and Maritime Bridges. She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which caters to her freelance jobs.

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