Maggi is the main international culinary brand in the Nestlé portfolio. Though it might not be as familiar to many consumers as perhaps Unilever's Knorr, this is actually a mammoth global brand, especially in developing markets. Combined sales are around $2.8bn a year. Kantar's annual Brand Footprint survey ranks Maggi as the world's third most popular consumer brand, with over 3bn consumer purchase actions annually. Only Coca-Cola and Colgate have more; main rival Knorr has a little over half as many. In Malaysia, it is the single most purchased brand overall, and also has a strong presence across the rest of Asia. After emerging countries, Maggi's next strongest market is its heartland of continental Europe, especially German-speaking territories, where it regularly features as the country's most trusted food brand. The local range comprises more than 350 separate products, from the core flavourings, stocks and bouillons to an extensive selection of instant soups, frozen meals and prepared sauces. The company also operates Maggi KochStudio cookery clubs in several German cities, which present monthly live cooking shows and teaching courses for paying customers, as well as a busy YouTube channel. Maggi's German sales alone are estimated at around €1bn. Maggi originated in Switzerland in the late 19th century as a cheap but nutritional soup stock for factory workers. It was acquired by Nestlé in 1947. Oddly perhaps, Maggi has been available in Latin America since the 1950s, with the result that it is now positioned there and in the US as an "authentic Latino" food product. It has adapted itself just as readily to local tastes in other markets such as Africa, the Middle East, Asia and especially India, where it is Nestlé's single biggest brand by far, mainly because of its instant noodles, accounting for more than a third of local sales. These noodles enjoyed enormous popularity until unproven allegations of lead contamination in 2015 prompted Nestlé India to recall all supplies temporarily, pending an investigation. The company was eventually cleared and Maggi noodles have slowly rebuilt their market position. Sales finally exceeded 2014 levels in India in 2020. Maciej Kazmierczak succeeded Roel Annega as CEO for Maggi Germany in 2019.
Capsule checked 17th December 2020
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Who are the competitors of Maggi? Maggi's main global competitor in the culinary sector is Unilever's Knorr, followed by Gallina Blanca of Spain. More specialized or regional rivals include Dr Oetker and Ajinomoto. See Food Sector for other companies
Historical profile information for Maggi
Adbrands Weekly Update 11th Jun 2015: Nestlé's operations in India have suffered a serious blow as a result of a ban by local food safety regulators on its enormously popular Maggi instant noodles following allegations of lead contamination. Nestlé vehemently denies the accusations, but has withdrawn all Maggi products from sale pending a full investigation. The company says it has been unable to find any lead traces in its own selection of samples, and contends that the products tested by regulators were accidentally contaminated after opening through poor handling. Ironically the issue only arose because Nestlé appealed against an earlier complaint from regulators about misleading claims on Maggi packaging relating to MSG. The supposed lead contamination was only discovered when the original noodles sample was retested. The Maggi culinary brand is the company's most valuable by far in India, accounting for around 30% of local sales, or over $600m. Instant noodles account for the bulk of that, as much as $450m. The Indian government is also now seeking damages from the Swiss food giant over the case, which also threatens to dent consumer trust in the company's other products. Media coverage has shown angry customers burning piles of noodles in anger over the possible harm to their health. However, Nestlé's case has received moral support from Singapore's food safety watchdog which found no contamination in samples of Maggi noodles imported from India.
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