Battle Of The Brands In Seasoning Market: Knorr Versus Maggi

Posted: January 17, 2011 in Brand management

There is a pitched battle between Nestle Nigeria Plc, producers of Maggi seasoning and Unilever since Unilever Nigeria Plc took over the manufacturing and sale of Knorr seasoning from Cadbury Nigeria Plc in December 2005.

Today, Knorr and Maggi are competing in the menu recipe of many Nigerian homes for top spot in the seasoning market. Virtually, in almost every meal served in the restaurants or in any social gathering, be it stew, vegetable soup, jollof rice, fried rice, beans porridge, moi moi, you will not miss the wonderful taste of these seasonings, which are definitely used while preparing any meal.

The one of the most intriguing questions is that “which of these brands could be ranked foremost among its competitors or the most popular in the market?”

Maggi, which had occupied a big space in the hearts of consumers before now, has managed to endear the brand to customers thanks to its marketing communication activities. For example, its annual “Cook for Mama” competition and recently, its Maggi Million and More Promo have produced 13 millionaires in 13 weeks. Moreover, some advertising materials created by Nestle not only strengthened its market presence but also entrenched the brand’s relevance in the market.

On the other hand, Knorr launched the Cook ‘n’ Win promotion where winners received cars as prizes as if it confirms that it is not left out in the fray. Furthermore, the Power of Meal Times campaign project was introduced by organising family picnics, as a way of preaching meal times bonding. In order to push the brand messages, Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) concept was used as an effective tool.

According to the results of a recent random survey conducted by Vanguard investigation in Lagos, Abuja, some parts of the North, East, and South-South, Maggi controls about  43 per cent of the market compared to Knorr’s 41 per cent. Although Maggi is the oldest in the market, there is no doubt that Maggi is facing a serious challenge in the leadership position, by losing its first comer advantage in the market.

Probing further into public acceptance and perception of the brands, it was found that both seasonings are readily available at supermarkets, open markets and street shops, and well packaged too, which respondents say they liked. However, 45 per cent of the respondents said the price of Knorr was worth the value offered by the product, while 55 per cent said the price was on the high side compared to Maggi. On taste, 60 per cent preferred Knorr taste for its salt level, against Maggi’s 40 per cent.

For example, a house wife interviewed in the survey, namely Mrs. Josephine Ikechi, said that she switched over to Knorr from Maggi due to the salty nature of Maggi. She added that Maggi made her miscalculate the amount of salt to add to her cooking.

However, 60 per cent of respondents admit they are aware and could easily recall Maggi’s marketing communication tools on television, radio, billboards, posters, magazines, internet and directional signs and other below-the-line platforms, as well promotional items, compared to 40 per cent respondents who recall Knorr’s promotional activities.

It seems that Knorr, working assiduously to outwit Maggi, has something wrong in advertising and promotional activities to endear the brand in the perception of customers. According to the respondents, the reason why Knorr lags behind is about its promotional engagements.

According to Vanguard investigation about the seasoning advertising exposure by media types, Maggi was recorded to have 22 per cent in the television advertising exposure, 11 per cent in radio, 5 per cent in the Press and 19 per cent in the Out-Of-Home; OOH (Billboards); while Knorr had 18 per cent in television advertisement, 9 per cent in radio, 5 per cent in the Press and the OOH it had 17 per cent.

In order to have a larger market share, both seasonings seem to be in a competitive struggle by using various tools including advertisement, pricing, personal selling, activations, distribution network, value addition, quality control and sales promotional activities.

Unless this struggle is over, the soup in our saucepan will keep on boiling. So don’t forget to blow on it!

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  2. Mrs Fatima Olabode says:

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