Maggi was back on the shelves after its prolonged absence of about six months in Indian market. SIGH!!!! Yes, you read that right. The leader in instant noodle market in India was banned in India due to testing positive for excess Lead & MSG (Mono Sodium Glutamate) by FSSAI(Food Safety and Standard Authority of India) on June 5,2015.
But after the dust had settled Maggi came out clean and made its return to the market.And
Time line of Maggi fiasco!!
In July Bombay High Court overturned ruling by FSSAI as they had used arbitrary method in banning Maggi and ordered for a new round of tests by government accredited labs. Nestle got some relief and after the Court’s ruling Nestle India immediately rolled out a mass media campaign with #WeMissYouToo slogan.This was Nestle’s way of gearing up for a relaunch. This campaign immediately struck the nostalgic cords in minds of the people and was a great campaign by Nestle to regain trust and feel for the brand among the masses.
Maggi didn’t use celebrity endorsers for their campaign. Instead they used general public to arouse sentiments in their loyal fan base, who also felt the same way as the actors in the adverts portrayed. In every advertisement, the connection of utility, and the ease Maggi brought to individual’s lives, was highlighted. So marketer’s of Maggi had a clear idea of the attitude and decision making of the consumers about their brand. In an extremely moderate and basic promotion, Maggi voiced the question inside everybody’s head: ” When will it be back?”.
Affects on Consumer Behaviour towards Maggi.
Despite the harmful findings in contents of Maggi there was more bitterness among its large number of ‘fans’, than rage. Maggi had been a religion, not a noodle. From the 80s it brought to Indian palate a new taste with which they got bulldozed!.
Maggi had made a bond that no other brand could make, almost to a level of Classical Conditioning in which Maggi was to instant noodle; what Xerox was to photocopies, where the item and brand had grown to be synonymous. According to Iacobuccci (p.p. 19 ,2013) “when customers begin to learn and associate certain things” like in this case, noodles with Maggi, they are developing a classical conditioning towards it through learning and memory.
Maggi had also embedded in the Indian food culture like no other brand could and according to Iacobuccci (p.p. 22 ,2013) Cultural Differences due affect consumer behavior.It had become like a staple food of students in hostels, to working professionals and for everybody who didn’t know or had much time for cooking.The advertisement below perfectly illustrates the convenience Maggi had brought to people’s life.
Some surveys were conducted and people were asked for their opinion on Maggi after the fiasco.
1. Opinion of the respondents regarding whether relaunch of Maggi should be allowed?
A vast majority of people i.e. 66% wanted Maggi to be available at the market again.
2. Whether it was safe to consume before ban?
After the ban, majority of the respondents (74%) felt that Maggi which was eaten before the ban was not good for health.
3. Whether it was safe to consume after relaunch?
After the ban was lifted only about 50 % felt that “it was safe to consume after relaunch“.
But the test results proved that Maggi was safe and healthy to consume.Maggi re-entered the market in November and faced competition like never before. Maggi has started gaining its lost market share and is now again the leader of Instant Noodle Market in India much due to the love and nostalgia from its consumers which was achieved due to loyalty, memories and learning which people had associated with it.
Steps undertaken by consumer in order to buy Maggi now that world is normal again..
Now maybe after the controversy surrounding it some people might give buying noodles a miss altogether and switch to a new and completely different product, but many of us can sleep with the peace of mind that Maggi is back in the market again.
MADHAV GARG / 216272243