New Delhi: Marico Ltd., on Thursday announced its entry into the instant noodles market, a category dominated by large consumer packaged goods companies such as Nestle and ITC Ltd.
The move is in line with Marico’s plans to generate more revenue from its packaged food business which includes Saffola oats, honey and soy chunks.
The launch of instant noodles under the Saffola Ooodles brand is part of the company’s desire to strengthen its presence in the healthy, ready-to-cook snack category and expand its demographic relevance, according to one company.
During a pandemic year, the extended time spent indoors gave rise to home cooking and prompted consumers to seek out varied snack options. Food companies have thus broadened their portfolio.
“Since the launch of Saffola Masala Oats, Saffola has become a mainstay of the ready-to-eat snack market in India,” said Koshy George, Marketing Director, Marico. With this new launch, Marico takes care of “healthy pleasure”. narrative, he said.
The brand will be retailed through Saffola stores on the company’s direct selling platform, with the exception of Amazon, BigBasket, Grofers and Flipkart online grocery stores. The product is available in two storage units.
The company is getting aggressive about its food portfolio, Saugata Gupta, managing director and CEO of Marico Limited, said in a previous interview with Mint.
“Food is a much more aggressive growth strategy. Last year we did something just under Rs200 crore (in food). We are extremely confident to reach Rs300 crore more this year, then to reach Rs450 crore and Rs500 crore in the following years which will become a critical mass. We think food is something that has significant tailwinds, ”he said.
The company’s food portfolio benefited from a year hit by the pandemic. In the third quarter, benefiting from home consumption, Marico’s food portfolio, comprising honey and oats, grew in value by 74% year-on-year (year-on-year).
Meanwhile, edible saffola oils posted 17% year-on-year volume growth, slightly lower than it reported in the second quarter of the current fiscal year.
Nestlé, with its Maggi noodle brand, is the largest player in the instant noodle segment. ITC also competes in the market with its Yippee! branded instant noodles.
Marico has also stepped up its launches in the healthy foods and immunity category over the past year. This includes Saffola Honey, Saffola Immuniveda Kadha Blend Line and Golden Turmeric Milk Blend, as well as Arogyam Chyawan Amrut Awaleha saffola. Marico has also made a foray into the plant protein segment with the recent launch of Saffola MealMaker Soya Chunks.
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