Raahil Chopra
Aug 04, 2016

‘Wai Wai will be an interesting brand in the FMCG space’

Nepal-origin brand looks to grow beyond North East and noodles; to launch first TVC

‘Wai Wai will be an interesting brand in the FMCG space’
Wai Wai Noodles, from Nepal-headquartered CG Foods, has been in the country for the last 30 years. It claims to have a market share of 27 per cent in India (explained below), thanks to a dominant presence in the North East. For the first time, the brand will launch an ad campaign on 5 August 2016, conceptualised by former JWT South Asia CEO Colvyn Harris' independent marketing and branding consultancy, Harris Mint.
The brand wants a larger share of the market and this is possible by growing the category, explains Binod Chaudhary, chairman, CG Corp Global.
Speaking with Campaign India, he said, "We have felt that India as a country is nowhere close to where the market for noodles should be. The per capita consumption is four packets per year. Compare this to Nepal, which is at 40 and China is close to 80. So we want to enhance the overall noodles market. We don't want to take someone else's market share."
Chaudhary noted that a bulk of its claimed Indian market share comes from the North East. "We have a 60 to 65 per cent market share in the North East. There are areas like Maharashtra where we are small. But we are present with the product across all the States and now have the capability to grow. We are big in the East as well. In the South we have a plant now and that's grown immensely too. The West doesn't have a manufacturing outlet, now we're looking at a plant in Ajmer."
On how it arrived at its 27 per cent market share, he explained, "We measure the markets from the sales and production side. We know our capacity and know the competition's capacity. Sometimes agency research data can be incomplete because they don't take the North East seriously. We keep updating our data and this was last month when Maggi was at 45 per cent (market share) we were second with 27 per cent."
Through the TVC, the company is looking to target the youth (18 to 24 years), but Chaudhary added that there's a market beyond that category. "Our focus is more on this age group because they're the ones who look for more versatile stuff. The convenience factor is something they look at. This is a brand built by three generations of the 18-24 year old age group. But it's also popular with the older adults. Whether its people looking to enjoy the ready-to-eat nature of the noodles with a drink, or whether it's consumed in offices, there are added benefits to it."
Beyond noodles
Chaudhary also revealed that the brand Wai Wai would extend itself to associated products. He said, "We are ready with the capacity and long term strategic plan. We want to raise the total market size. We're going to have associated products to extend the brand. I think Wai Wai will be an interesting brand in the FMCG space.”
On the TVC, which goes on air on 5 August, Harris said, "The USP for Wai Wai is in the product. The category hasn't seen any innovation other than flavours. There are two parts – ready to eat and ready to cook. This pack is versatile. You can take a pack, add the three taste makers and can have it as a dry bhel. That's a snack one can eat on the go. The other two forms can be eaten in the form of a soup or a meal by adding vegetables. The versatility is in form and consumption. We believe we have a strong brand in the segment and at Rs 10 it's the cheapest meal one can eat. Also we're targeting the youth and not the 'mummy category' that others are looking at." 
On the brief, he added, "The business brief was that they were doing well but not advertised before. Three generations had consumed it. The advertising brief I developed was to give the brand the ambition to participate in the rest of India and not just in the North East. We wanted to show the comfort and taste propositions." 
Campaign India