Indian noodle market (instant noodles) is estimated at INR 1,300 to 1,600 crores (USD 300 – USD 350 mn) in 2010. According to estimates, the market is expected to reach INR 3,000-3,500 crore by 2015 clocking a CAGR of 20%. The market is dominated by instant noodles and Nestle’s brand – Maggi (which was first noodle brand to be introduced in India in mid 1980s). Nestle has virtually dominated the Indian noodle market till now but lately many large FMCG players and retail chains have launched their products in this lucrative space.
Urbanization, rising income levels, working couples, interstate migration and changing lifestyle of young India are key drivers for the noodles market. The product was positioned as meal which is filling and can be prepared in just a few minutes, thus offering both convenience and time saving.
Trends in Indian noodle market
- Increasing competition: Competition in instant noodle category has intensified with players such as GlaxoSmithKline (Horlicks Foodles), ITC (Sunfeast Yippee noodles), Capital Foods and Hindustan Unilever launching new products in the market.Private label brands such as Tasty Treat by Future Group (Big Baazar retail chain) have also been launched an it is expected that many more private label brands may hit the market.
- New product launches and extensive marketing: All players new or old have been busy launching new products and marketing campaigns. Maggi has launched an extensive campaign with their new productvegetable multigrain noodle. Tasty Treat increased its variants from two to five. Similarly, Foodles is stressing on the health aspect of its products.
- Stress on health and wellness: As on all other food categories, players are stressing on health and wellness aspects of their products. Maggi launched Atta noodles and multigrain noodles to woo customers while Glaxo’s Foodles also stresses on the multigrain aspect of their product
- Traditional flavors still dominate: Masala, chicken and tomato are most popular flavors in the market
- Addressing rural market: Noodles are primarily consumed in urban India and to expand this market companies such as Nestle have introduced small sized and low cost products to address the demand of rural market. The success of this effort is still to be seen.
Key players in Indian noodle market
The instant noodle market is dominated by MNCs, very few local players have a sizeable presence. Some of the key players in the market along with their brands are:
- Nestle (Maggi)
- Hindustan Unilever (Knorr Soupy Noodles)
- GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare (Foodles)
- Capital Foods Ltd. (Ching's Secret)
- ITC (Sunfeast Yippee noodles)
- CG Foods India Pvt. Ltd.(wai wai)
- Future Group (tasty Treat)
Opportunities in Indian noodle market
- Health and wellness theme: Health and wellness theme based packaged food is gaining popularity in India and the market of such noodles is still open as traditional player Maggi is not associated with “health” but with convenience and taste.
- Huge Rural market: rural India where close to 60% of Indian population resides is a huge consumption market virtually un-penetrated by any player. Low cost products with appropriate marketing can open up this huge market