Nestlé India turns to e-commerce to launch new Maggi product in India

By Pearly Neo contact

- Last updated on GMT

Indian instant noodle consumption has seen a significant comeback since the Maggi Noodles ban back in 2015. ©Getty Images
Indian instant noodle consumption has seen a significant comeback since the Maggi Noodles ban back in 2015. ©Getty Images

Related tags: Maggi noodles, India, Flipkart, e-commerce

Nestlé India has turned to Walmart-owned e-commerce company Flipkart to launch its new Maggi Special Masala Noodles.

This will be available solely via e-commerce until it hits retail stores on August 31.

Boasting 20 finely ground and whole spices, pre-booking of the Maggi noodles via Flipkart commenced on August 21, following which it will be exclusively available online from August 25 to August 30.

Maarten Geraets, General Manager, Foods, Nestlé India expressed excitement over the collaboration.

“It will give a chance to Maggi lovers to try this innovation from the convenience of their home. We are confident that this product with its special taste from 20 finely ground and whole spices and specially created bouncier non sticky noodles would be appreciated by our consumers,​” he added.

Nestle’s focus on NPD for its instant noodle category comes as no surprise, given that statistics show 107.7 billion packets of instant noodles were consumed globally in 2017. Although China topped the charts here at 38.97 billion packets, India came in at fourth place with 5.42 billion packets.

More significantly, Indian instant noodle consumption has seen a significant comeback since the Maggi Noodles ban back in 2015​, growing a whopping 66% since then.

Flipkart acquisition by Walmart

Meanwhile, Indian-based e-commerce company Flipkart announced earlier this month that it had entered an investment agreement with Walmart.

Walmart has pledged USD 2 billion of new equity funding for Flipkart growth. As per the agreement, Walmart now holds around 77% of Flipkart.

“By combining Walmart’s omnichannel retail expertise, supply-chain knowledge and financial strength with Flipkart’s talent, technology and local insights, we are confident that together we can drive the next wave of retail in India,”​ said Binny Bansal, Flipkart co-founder and CEO in a statement.

Maggi’s e-commerce focus

In hopes of a speedy full recovery from the 2015 ban, Nestle reworked its business strategy to include focus on healthier options, better communications and e-commerce, amongst others. Apart from Flipkart, it has previously also partnered with e-commerce giants like Amazon and Snapdeal.

‘These are some things that we have not done as aggressively as we should have,’​ said India CEO Suresh Narayanan to Livemint.

More on Maggi India noodles controversy

In 2015, Maggi Two-Minute Noodles was a household brand all over India, and held some 80% of the Indian instant noodle market share.

However, when it came under fire​ for the discovery of MSG (in products labelled ‘No added MSG’) as well as lead in its products in June 2015, this rapidly and dramatically dropped to zero within a month. Over 1,000 times more lead than was claimed by Nestle India was found to be present in Maggi.

38,000 tonnes of noodles were recalled and destroyed between June and September 2015.

The product also saw a six-month nationwide ban. Maggi went back up on retail shelves in November 2015 after extensive testing declared it safe for consumption.

By January 2017, Maggi had returned to the top of India’s noodle market with a 60% market share. In November though, Nestle India was slapped with a USD 70,000 (4.5 million rupees) fine for high ash content in Maggi.

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