It has been four months since Maggi had been banned in India. This could easily be termed the biggest setback to the brand’s credibility as well as that of Nestle from an overall perspective. However, from the looks of it the ban seems to have been lifted and the organization is making grounds to ensure that the product gets a smooth comeback. It is spending a lot of money in promoting Maggi again through advertisements. Compared to August there has been a 96% increase in ad volume – the seconds spent on television in promoting the brand.
Maggi clears review tests
The Bombay High Court had instructed some review tests of Maggi and the biggest food company of the world, Nestle, was able to pass them in August. The nationwide ban, as well as the ban that had been placed in some states, were lifted at the same time as well. Once the bans had been lifted it was expected that Maggi will be promoted aggressively again by Nestle with the intent of reclaiming its place in the Indian consumer space. The Swiss organisation is also supposed to come up with a fresh array of TV commercials and these will be made by McCann World Group.
Spurt in advertising volume
Ever since it had been banned in June 2015, the ad volume of Nestle had been decreasing on a monthly basis. During May 2015, Maggi’s ad volume went down by 23% and in June it decreased by 72%. In July, Nestle tried to mount a comeback with a growth of 188% in its ad volume. It again went down by 49% in August before shooting up by 96% in September. Before the Maggi controversy started, Nestle India had been spending almost INR 400 crore on an average on advertisement-related expenses. Now, the cost has come down to somewhere around INR 150 crore.
It was in May that allegations regarding excessive lead content in Maggi surfaced. After this the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) stepped in and barred Maggi. In its new advertisement, Nestle is saying that Maggi is safe and it had always been as such perhaps in an effort to leave behind the recent few months, which anyone associated with the brand will like to forget as soon as possible. The ad also points out that 3500 samples of the product had been tested at various locations in India, apart from countries such as the US, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, and Singapore.
Engaging the buyers
The head of the ecommerce and communication activities of Nestle, Chandrasekar Radhakrishnan, has stated that his organisation will set up a team of consumer engagement service providers. This team will function on a round-the-clock basis across all the communication channels that Nestle has especially on social media and digital platforms. Radhakrishnan has stated that this team has been given the responsibility to engage with people, answer the questions posed by them, and provide important information and content on all the aforementioned channels.
Corporate campaign of Nestle
During September Nestle came up with a corporate campaign to mark its 100 years of presence in India. In this ad, Maggi was conspicuous by its absence. This was surprising in a way considering Maggi is the most prominent Nestle brand. However, products such as KitKat and Nescafe were featured in the same advertisement. Harish Bijoor, a brand consultant, has stated that apart from Nestle looking to re-launch Maggi noodles it needs to fulfill some broadcasting contractual obligations. An organisation dealing in marketing insights, named Airloyal, had done a quick survey on social media on 19 October. Here almost 65% of the respondents said that they had responded on the basis of the controversy that had happened on social media. According to Raja Hussain, the CEO and founder of Airloyal, 60% of the people who took the survey have said that since Maggi has been cleared now they would not hesitate from talking about it on social media. 30% of people have however said that they would not buy Maggi even after it has been cleared.
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