Prahlad Kakkar to spice up Wai Wai noodles

Prahlad Kakkar to spice up Wai Wai noodles

Nepalese company wants to increase foothold in India; ad campaign to focus on GenNext

Advertising filmmaker Prahlad Kakkar, who created the first set of commercials for Maggi 25 years ago, will now work his magic on Wai Wai, a Nepalese instant noodles brand.

CG Foods, the makers of Wai Wai, have roped in Mr Kakkar to convert it into a strong pan-India brand. It has a market share of 20 per cent, and is popular with the North-East student community. Mr Kakkar is in the process of shooting the ad films and the campaign is expected to go live by January-end.

“The campaign will be youth-oriented as they are Wai Wai’s brand ambassadors. We will recognise them, project them in the campaign and, thank you. Word-of-mouth publicity has made Wai Wai what it is today,” Mr Kakkar told The Hindu . Wai Wai is organically grown and this is the first time an advertising campaign has been planned for the brand. The name is derived from a Thai word that stands for “Quickly, Quickly, Tasty Tasty.”

CG Foods started exporting it to the eastern sector 30 years ago where it competed with several Chinese brands. “It became the brand of preference. By trial and error, kids found out that it is most convenient because they could eat it raw. So the growth came from them because they started carrying Wai Wai to the rest of India,” Mr Kakkar added.

The company opened a factory in Sikkim 10 years ago following a spike in demand, and it has now expanded to seven factories in six locations.

“We are doing Rs 400-crore turnover in India without advertising. The product has gained acceptance purely on taste, convenience, flavour and pricing. We are aiming to achieve 50 per cent market share,” said Binod K Chaudhary, Chairman, CG Corp Global, which owns the Wai Wai brand. He said Wai Wai is known as “Munch it, Lunch it and Soup it” among students. “It is a wholesome meal. And because of its convenience and taste, Wai Wai became popular among college students,” Mr Chaudhary added.

Part of the campaign will tell people the product is available here, and they need not request anyone to carry it, said Mr Kakkar.Though there is concern regarding the safety of instant noodles, CG Foods is not overly concerned.

Pricing helps

The advertising will take care of that, and besides, Maggi has been exonerated from the charge of being unhealthy.

The category has, in fact, gained from the re-launch of Maggi, which Wai Wai will look to capitalise on.Mr Kakkar wants to increase the reach of the brand to the lower strata of society. The pricing of the product at Rs 5 a pack, helps. The company also plans to introduce it in local flavours, customising it to the spicy palette in Andhra Pradesh, or a fish-based flavour in West Bengal.

Published in 10 December 2015 in The Hindu: http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/prahlad-kakkar-to-spice-up-wai-wai-noodles/article7968785.ece

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December 10, 2015