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Patanjali's Noodles, Maggi or YiPPee: Which brand will gain foothold in India's instant noodle market?
There seems to be an absolute competition in India's instant noodle marketplace with Patanjali Ayurved, launching its "healthy" noodles just after Nestle's Maggi made a comeback after an extended ban of five months.

Baba RamdevThe FMCG venture led by yoga guru Baba Ramdev introduced its Atta noodles on Monday to take on Nestle's 2-minutes Maggi noodles. And with the presence of both the rivals in the market, there is bound to be a serious competition. Notably, as per a Nomura report, Maggi ensured 80% of market share in India before the prohibition. Besides, the other notable player is YiPPee by ITC that already has gained a significant place in market, after the ban on Nestle's Maggi.

Yepi Noodles

Now, the 'Desi' brand Patanjali is to set up five manufacturing plants in Delhi NCR, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh, in an order to meet the escalating demand of its newly launched atta noodles. Last week, Nestle India relaunched Maggi noodles after Bombay High Court removed the imposed ban on it forced by FSSAI and Maharashtra FDA.

Maggi Noodles

The new plants will also make other products under the Patanjali brand. As per Ramdev, Patanjali will enter into the new product categories such as childcare, skincare and health supplement by the end of this year.

"By the end of December, our noodles will hit one million stores. We are ramping up our production capacity," said Ramdev to reporters in New Delhi while launching Patanjali's noodle brand.

Why there must be a serious competition in instant noodle market:

Well, people of today's generation are more health conscious. They are well-aware of the negative effects of Maida while the atta is anyway nutritious. Thus, the competition is bound to take place. The domestic brand Patanjali has priced its 70 gram pack of 'Atta Noodles' at Rs 15, while its rivals are offering the same atta noodles at Rs 25. But then, other noodles basically made from maida is cheaper.

The other notable fact that Ramdev has highlighted is that the Patanjali noodles are based on rice bran oil and not palm oil that other firms are using in their respective products.

All Patanjali's products are easily accessible at modern trade shops, including Reliance Fresh, Big Bazaar, D Mart like all its competitors. Besides, it has another advantage i.e. Patanjali's own retail network.

To wrestle with such big multinational brands already present in the market, Patanjali will soon start its promotion through TV commercials for Atta Noodles and other products.

ITC too had let loose an ad in the hope of getting larger market share after the ban of popular Maggi. Note: The ads took a reference to Nestle's quality when the Swiss giant was facing difficulties in the country.

When Nestle was facing trouble in India, the ITC too saw the sales of its noodles declining during July to September. In fact, it had said that "in the instant noodles category, regulatory issues largely pertaining to a competitor's products impacted performance during the quarter. The business launched a focused and integrated 360 degree communication campaign to reassure consumers on the quality and safety of YiPPee! Noodles. This intervention has aided a smart recovery in the consumer franchise of YiPPee! Noodles in recent weeks," as reported in Mail today.

But, disagreeing with the stand taken by ITC, Nestle India MD Suresh Narayanan retorted at ITC's ad campaign saying while "competition is fully entitled to do what they do", Maggi did not need to "shout from the rooftop to what quality means to us."

The recent ruckus on Maggi brought big loss to Nestle India. It reported 60.1% downfall in its profit. But, the company has returned back with strong approval in places and reintroduced a very effective ad campaign to undertake its competitors. The firm has also associated with prominent e-tailer brands like Snapdeal to boost its market share through flash deals.

Is domestic brand Patanjali set to tackle the competition?

The firm ensured a sales turnover of Rs 2,007 crore in 2014-15. "We are looking at 150 per cent growth in our sales this year and aiming to cross Rs 5,000 crore turnover,'' Ramdev said.

"There is no competition in our minds. We are serving a healthier product to the people. We have been noticing the trend in the market for this type of food and hence we decided to come up with a product which is healthy and safe for the people," Ramdev's spokesperson SK Tijarawala told Mail Today.

Denying the allegations around timing of the launch that comes after the Maggi controversy, he said, "Those people are working as corporates. We are not. Our only focus is people's health."

While the firm will set up plants in big towns, it has priced its 70 gram pack at Rs 15, that is indeed cheaper than same products sold by rivals. "Our atta noodles are priced at Rs 15 for 70 grams while other brands' atta noodles sell at Rs 25 for 70 grams," Tijarawala added.

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