Brand Story : Maggi – Taste, convenience & health?

Brand Story : Maggi – Taste, convenience & health?

As the weekend mood sets in, the brand that I chose for today is Maggi – ‘Fast to Cook Good to Eat’.  Though we all know Maggi as the instant two minutes noodle, but do you know that this fun food, which delights most children, is a brand that carries more than a century old legacy?




Convenience Food for over a century 


The history of Maggi dates back to 1863, Switzerland. Maggi derives its name from its founder Julius Maggi, who created a recipe of flavors to add taste to meals. The 19th century saw the Industrial Revolution. After women in Switzerland took up factory jobs, they were left with very little time to prepare elaborate meals. The Swiss Public Welfare Society called upon Julius Maggi, a pioneer in combining convenience and nutrition, to develop solutions to improve the nutrition of the working class.



By 1886, Julius Maggi had launched his ready-to-use soups, followed by the seasoning that would give a meaty, spicy taste to Maggi soups and leguminous flour, making them more enjoyable. Nestlé acquired the Maggi brand in 1947.



2 Minute noodles – the Indian Avatar of Maggi


Mummy bhook lagi hai” (Mom, I’m hungry) say the children as they come running to their mom. “Bas do minute” (Only 2 minutes) says the mom and she prepares a hot bowl of Maggi. This TV advert of Maggi is imprinted in our minds for quite some years.

It was in 1982 that Maggi was introduced in India as the instant 2 Minute Noodles. In those days, the food habits in India were very conservative. People mostly preferred traditional food preparations over any canned or packaged food, and instant noodle was an entirely new concept.

Initially, the brand was targeted at working women on the premise that Maggi noodles were fast to cook and hence offered convenience. But when Nestle India Ltd found that it was children who devoured Maggi, they positioned Maggi as a ‘fun’ food for kids which mothers could prepare easily.



Taste and health – is there an issue?


In 1985, Maggi launched the Tomato Ketchup as an accompaniment to make food- tasty and more palatable, and three years later we saw the launch of Maggi instant soups in India.

Since the early 2000s, the Nestlé Group had been introducing ‘health and wellness‘ products all over the world. The Maggi brand also followed the suit and took the health route with the launch of Vegetable Atta Noodles in 2005, which are supposed to be healthier as they are made of whole wheat flour instead of maida (refined wheat) and contain real vegetables.

However, recently the reports of high levels of MSG (Monosodim Glutamate) and lead in Maggi, which can cause severe health problems, have hit the market and Nestle may be under pressure to withdraw Maggi.

Yet, with its attractive packaging, consistent quality and excellent communication, Maggi has remained a favorite brand in India since the last 3 decades.

Hope that Nestle India maintains the credibility of the brand in line with its origin, and live up to their reputation and endeavor to make it easier for their women to work, while providing their families with tasty and healthy meals.


What do you think Nestle should do?


** This is a revised version of the article after the news of high levels MSG & lead being found in Maggi.


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  • author's avatar

    By: Somali K Chakrabarti

    Hi there! Welcome to Scribble and Scrawl! Here, I delve into themes related to positive lifestyle – from making smart-living choices, savvy financial decisions to nurturing the mind, body and soul. I share my travel experiences, explore facets of art and culture and highlight inspiring stories. Hope you enjoy reading my posts.

  • author's avatar

Somali K Chakrabarti

Hi there! Welcome to Scribble and Scrawl! Here, I delve into themes related to positive lifestyle - from making smart-living choices, savvy financial decisions to nurturing the mind, body and soul. I share my travel experiences, explore facets of art and culture and highlight inspiring stories. Hope you enjoy reading my posts.

  • Very powerful brand associated with the childhood memories of even us the 40 plus generation.anyone who had to survive alone would have memories when Maggi gave the feeling of being the saviour of the hungry and alone. I had the fortune of visiting the FSL plant in Moga Punjab and it was a wonderful experience being there as a first year Chem Engg undergrad . truely a state of art facility.

  • That is long history :)
    We try the Vegetable Atta Noodles these days when there is the need :)

  • Pranab chakraborti

    May 16, 2015 at 6:09 am

    Wonderful post. Very interesting. I remember in late sixties Chinese noodles were available in Kolkata mostly for restaurants and local Christian community only. Now after the arrival of maggi everything has changed and maggi has become essential commodity for every family having kids.

  • bhudeb chakrabarti

    May 16, 2015 at 7:08 am

    A very enjoyable post which gave us quite a lot of information
    about Maggi Brand a hit with the kids .

  • I was not aware of this… Thanks for sharing.. :)

  • Maggi revolutionized our food habits and we instantly fell in love with it. Lovely post Somali and thanks for sharing all the info!

  • I so love their Vegetable Atta noodles. Great to know history behind what i am eating :)

  • I had no idea about the history of Maggi! This is a superb post, Somali on the ‘life-saving Maggi’… :-)

  • Maggi is best friend of singles and kids.. Fast and convenient.

  • All kids love Maggi. Mine do too. I remember when it was first launched in India, how we all latched on to it. An informative article.

  • Very interesting story. :-)

  • Highlighting the connection between consumers and brands is a good approach to marketing.

  • Informative article. Maggi has been a hit brand between youngsters. Everyone has their own way of making maggi as per their own taste. Hardly we pay attention to the history associated with the brand we have been using since many years. Good to know about it.

  • First of all me and my children and probably their entire generation can’t imagine a supermarket or kichen without Maggie . it is unfortunate that level of Msg was found high according to international standards. Nestle should clear all apprehensions of their consumers and maintain standards. Withdrawing this hugely popular brand is not a solution.

  • Nitin 'fLanker' Balodi

    June 1, 2015 at 12:51 pm

    Initially I thought that Julius is a lady; however, it is in the later part of the post where you have used ‘he’ for Julius that uncovered the truth :p

    The only solution for Nestle is to decrease or completely refrain from using MSG in its instant noodles. The other solution is to sell it under a new brand name with new marketing plan where they will be saying that their Noodles are made up of whole flour and MSG is absent in it. That would require too much of the efforts but it’s better to start again rather than working under a distorted impression. There is too much negative marketing done by Indian Media regarding Maggi already.

    Apart from that, most of the Indians don’t know that Maggi is a brand of Nestle and that asymmetry in information can work in favour of Nestle.

    • Thanks for stopping by Nitin. Yes there’s is too much of negative publicity. To counter Nestle will have to put facts in black and white and clear its name, while garnering support from media. Maggi is such a popular brand that creating a new brand with that amount of popularity will take humongous efforts and lot of time.

  • Afterthought- how fast can a brand perception change, MSG and lead has just not tarnished the image but taken away a generation of Indians who now feel that they have a heavy metal foundry in their bowels and intestines lined with Pb. Would definitely become a B school business case

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