Cashing in on the opportunity that resulted out of a controversy over its rival Nestle's Maggi, ITC's instant noodles brand YiPPee! is close to emerging as a Rs 1,000-crore brand.
It is well known that the country's food regulator had imposed a ban on Maggi after tests of its samples showed higher levels of lead and presence of monosodium glutamate (MSG) in them. The ban was lifted by the Bombay High Court in October.
"Sunfeast YiPPee! as a brand is now in its fifth year post the national rollout. We are proud to say Yippee Noodles is poised to enter the Rs 1,000-crore club in the ITC Foods stable," ITC Ltd Divisional Chief Executive, Foods Division, V L Rajesh told PTI.
The ban on Maggi had provided other noodle-makers, including ITC, the opportunity to boost their sales by highlighting quality and safety standards.
"The controversy and confusion that prevailed adversely affected the whole industry. However, with our proactive inputs and innovative campaigns, we were the fastest to recover and then exceed our old sales levels," Rajesh added.
After the Maggi ban, ITC had come out with a timely advertising campaign centred on quality and safety, which resulted in higher YiPPee! sales. In September, YiPPee! had accounted for over 50% of instant noodles market in India, according to analysts. Before the ban on Maggi noodles, YiPPee! noodles occupied just 10-12% of the market share.
Maggi had a market share of over 80% in instant noodles in the quarter ending March 2015, according to a Nomura report.
"We were gaining market share month-on-month even before the controversy happened, and are continuing to grow even now," said Rajesh.