The iconic Maggi noodles that introduced the concept of convenience food to many in Pakistan, have been shut down in the country, Profit has reported.
According to reports, Nestlé — the company that owns the brand and manufactures the product — has confirmed that they will no longer be marketing the instant noodles with which at least two generations of Pakistanis grew up.
“Yes, we discontinued Maggi by the end of 2018. The divestment is part of Nestlé’s strategy to manage its multi-product portfolio,” the report quoted an official as saying on the condition of anonymity.
Nestlé Pakistan has made no public announcements about the matter, and Maggi noodles remain listed as a product on the company’s website. However, the product is conspicuously absent from the 2018 annual financial statements of the company. There was no explicit mention of a discontinuation; it was just listed as a product offering on the 2017 report, and not listed on the 2018 report.
When it was first launched in Pakistan in 1992, Maggi was the only brand of noodles in the country and had a complete monopoly for the first year of its production. And while Unilever quickly launched its Knorr brand of instant noodles in 1993, Maggi was the market leader and, for the most part, remained so for the next two decades.
Over the past four years, however, Maggi went from being the market leader in its category to being almost completely wiped out from the country. Sources inside the company confirmed to Profit that the current stock of Maggi in stores is all that is left. Once it is gone, there will be no more.
Among other reasons behind Maggi’s death are the food safety scare in India from a few years ago – one that turned out to be a false alarm – and losing market share to Knorr even before that scare. Unilever, it seems was much better at localisation than Nestle was, the report said, adding that as a result, Unilever’s product was able to continue gaining market share from Nestle, and was therefore well-positioned to become the market leader by the time Maggi met its demise.