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Noodles Market: The leadership, the challenges and failures

By Princewill Ekwujuru
Over time, the noodles market had looked unattractive and companies never thought there was an economic benefit from that sector, until DUFIL Foods, manufacturers of Indomie noodles ventured into the market.

But since the entrance in 1993 by way of  importation and the eventual establishment of factories in Nigeria, by DUFIL foods, noodles had become a regular meal, not only for children, but also for adults and Nigerians living overseas.

Some companies presently into the manufacturing of noodles had left Indomie to operate for close to 11 years, until the market in 2007 began to expand, witnessing some pockets of new  entrants, with Mimee launching a captivating Boom sha! sha! Radio / Television Commercial (TVC), that commercial rattled the market, which consumers assumed could be a competing brand prepared to  wrestle the leadership from the market leader, Indomie. But unfortunately Mimee’s campaign could not be sustained, a factor some brand analyst  attributed to be economic.

However, other brands like: Sun Yum,Uno, Cherie, Golden Penny, Dangote, Tummy Tummy, Star, Chefmie,  Niccus, Smoodles, and Mc chew had not shown any impart in the market, except for Golden penny and Dangote noodles that showed some signs of seriousness, but almost immediately withdrew to their shells.

But a new dimension have been introduced by Dangote, at the recently held children’s day celebration, Dangote noodles had single handedly sponsored the event at the police college in Ikeja. A sign of good things to come from the company, some brand watchers had said..

For others, aside Chikki, consumers hardly remember they exist in the market, another sign analyst attributed to poor marksmanship on the side of the brand custodians.

Pawan Sharma, Marketing Director, DUFIL Foods in a recent interactive section said that remaining leader in the market does not mean that Indomie had not experienced its ups and downs; But stressed, “despite the challenges we faced as the pioneer noodles manufacturer in Nigeria and Sub-Sahara Africa, we remained adamant until we were able to overcome battles one after another.”In the this regard, the growth rate of the market as reviewed courtesy Research and Marketing Services Limited (RMS), survey data released suggests that noodles market in Nigeria increased between 2000 and 2005, growing at an average annual rate of 3.6 percent.

The survey also noted that despite the growth in the noodles Industry, some companies have fallen by the way while some are experiencing serious challenges doing everything possible to survive.
The survey also showed that  there was a decline between 2008 and 2009.the market growth which it put at  48.5 percent in 2008 and 34.5 percent in 2009.

The report also showed that Indomies consumer base is constantly on the increase with the Nigerian market being its  main focus. Over 12million household consume noodles in Nigeria The Market Value. The market has been experiencing a steady increase in size and value over the years.

Accordingly, the report said that the volume share per kilograms for total noodles market was 105,348,225 in 2008 and 150,000,000 in 2009. The survey stated that the analysis for potential demand in  2010 was 140 million people in population.
Challenges facing the noodles market:

However, it is no  news that doing business in Nigeria requires some high level doggedness, this Indomie and others had demonstrated. From inception till date, the brand where unanimous in their view saying they have been facing challengesthat are common to a developing nation, which are Cost of Power Generation, Non availability of alternative source of power supply, Lack of infrastructural facilities, Rising costs of raw materials, rising cost of transportation, and excise duties which was removed recently.

From the above, the key objective for indomie, Sharma said, is to Maintain minimum 70 percent of market share, Maintain Brand Health  Index at 80 plus level, launch new theme campaign and sell  more cartons this year, all these other noodles have not been able to articulate or take into consideration.


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