Maggi, India's go-to option for instant noodles, saw a significant boost in sales amid the coronavirus lockdown. Sales of Maggi shot up by up to 25 per cent over pre-COVID numbers as consumers under lockdown stockpiled the instant noodle brand. Managing Director of Nestle India Suresh Narayanan said that the company ramped up manufacturing across its five Maggi factories during the lockdown.
According to a report in The Economic Times, some kirana shops have also started stocking the 1.68 kg packs that have 24 Maggi noodle cakes as they have run out of smaller packs. Demand for Maggi has surged 20-25 per cent over the pre-lockdown period.
The head of the Rs 12,000-crore India unit said that they ramped up manufacturing across eight factories including the five factories that produce Maggi during Lockdown 1.0. This involved reviving all the hundreds of suppliers, wheat flour millers, packaging suppliers and service providers, he said.
"Enormous efforts have been put in by teams across factories in the most arduous situation. The mission of my team was inspired to rise to a national cause and provide an essential brand at that time," said Narayanan.
However, the love for Maggi seems to be inconsistent with the emerging trends of healthy eating. Even though Maggi has been trying to revamp the health credentials of the brand with improved recipes and wheat variants, the instant noodle does not really fall in the healthy option bracket.
Nevertheless, Narayanan believes that Maggi's convenience and versatility and people lacking culinary skills would ensure that the noodle remains on the essentials list and would continue to drive up sales. "Maggi is seen as a 'faithful friend'. There is a mixture of love and adoration, giving Maggi a human form when it is a noodle - that's the power of a brand and what it stands for in the consumers' head and heart," he says.
Narayanan's assessment is on point. Not only Maggi, convenient food options such as biscuits have clocked record sales during the lockdown. Parle Products said that their market share has increased by 5 per cent. Biscuits across price points such as Britannia's Good Day, Tiger, Bourbon, Marie, Milk Bikis, as well as Parle's Monaco, Hide & Seek and Krackjack have seen high sales. But the star of the pack is the low-cost Parle-G that has seen its highest sales figures in eight decades.