Wai Wai noodle brand in expansion mode

Wai Wai noodle brand in expansion mode


Nepali-owned noodle brand “Wai Wai” will soon be unveiling a massive advertisement campaign to boost its sales, said Binod Chaudhary, Chairman of Chaudhary Group, makers of the noodle brand. The campaign will be conceptualised and steered by noted ad-guru Prahlad Kakkar.

Wai Wai currently has a 20 per cent share in the ?2,000-crore noodle market in India, Binod said. He said that the noodles market is still at a nascent stage with the per capita consumption of noodles at a mere four packets per annum compared to about 40 in China and about 80 packets in Japan and Korea.

Taste, affordability and nutritional value are the three pillars on which the brand has grown till now, Prahlad said. He said that the product had become popular riding on student support. It started with hostel students in the North-East who began to request their Nepali hostel mates to bring back more packets of these noodles when they returned after vacations. The product’s versatility , it could be consumed as a snack or as a meal, ensured that it began to build a loyal fan base.

From those quiet origins, it has now grown only through word of mouth into a ?400-crore brand. It has become the dominant brand in the East and North-East and has now spread to other areas. The group operates seven plants to manufacture these noodles across various states from Silchar in Assam to Chitoor in Andhra Pradesh.

On the anvil are new flavours as the brand plans to expand into the South. Prahlad quipped that there was a North-South divide with regard to food tastes too. “For the sake of simplicity they can be divided as ,’Butter-chicken territory and Sambhar territory,’ although tastes and culture changes every 100 kilometres across the country!”, he added.

Prahlad said that the Wai Wai brand will aim at tapping new markets for the noodle category. Hitherto it had remained largely the preserve of a “Westernised, English speaking, elitist/upper middle-class households”. By bringing the product to the consumer at lower price points, the market for the entire category could be expanded, Prahlad said, citing the example of what the sachet revolution did for shampoos.

This article was published on December 9, 2015 in Hindu Business Line: http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/companies/wai-wai-noodle-brand-in-expansion-mode/article7966744.ece

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December 10, 2015