NEW DELHI: Maggi noodles have sold out quickly after reappearing on the shelves of a few stores as the Nestlé-owned brand begins a relaunch after a five-month hiatus when it was banned over safety fears.
Initially available in 100 cities and towns, with over 300 stockists, the brand remains banned in seven states, where it is "working actively with authorities" according to Suresh Narayanan, chairman and MD of Nestlé India.
The scale of the task facing Nestlé becomes clear when one considers that, before the nationwide ban, Maggi noodles were present in around 4m retailers. "It will take us some time to reach there," Narayanan admitted. "It is not going to be a cakewalk for us."
The company declined to put a figure on its planned marketing spend, which is expected to increase significantly in the coming months, according to the Times of India, but the initial themes of its campaign are clear, with a focus on safety and quality.
"We are not going away from the fact that some consumers will have some doubt in their mind – that whether or not the product is safe," Narayanan said. "In this regard some of our commercials that are out now in social media will also be soon out on television screens and they will address the issue."
He was also adamant that nothing has been changed – the taste remains the same, the packaging has not changed. "That is what the consumer loves and as a company we will give them what exactly they love."
The product is also being made available online through Snapdeal where, FirstPost reported, it had sold out within minutes.
The Hindu also said that some buyers were planning to give packs of the noodles as Diwali gifts.
Data sourced from Times of India, Bloomberg TV India, The Hindu, FirstPost; additional content by Warc staff