From Switzerland to India, here is how Maggi became a part of our daily lives

It is said that the style of cooking and the taste of food changes with every 40kms you travel in India. India offers an endless range of food but sometimes, all your taste buds crave is some comforting and familiar food. And Maggi two minute noodles is the perfect comfort food option that tastes the same whether you have it in Kashmir or in Chennai!


The History of Maggi Noodles is quite interesting.  The story begins in the month of October 1846 in Switzerland. Micheal Maggi had moved to Switzerland from Italy because business worked out better with the Swiss. And that is when his son Julius Maggi was born. Julius was the youngest among 5 siblings. His father passed away when he was just 23 years old and he decided to look after the business. But due to an economic crisis in Switzerland, the hammer mill was dying.

Julius knew that he had to venture into some other business in order to survive and that's when he met a physician named Fridolin Schuler who suggested him to venture into the Food and Beverage industry and make a product that is affordable, Nutritious and can be made quickly. Julius loved the idea and launched packaged food based on Pulses and beans within a year. The product didn't sell much but Julius didn't give up. He launched a range of ready to eat soups based on beans and Peas which were an instant hit. He soon started launching more products and shipping them to other countries. All of these were his original concepts and one such brainchild was the 2-minute noodles!

Maggi had now become a global brand and was minting a lot of money. Julius passed away in 1912 because of a heart condition. His family continued his legacy for a few years and eventually sold the company to Nestle in 1947.

Over the years Maggi has become one of the highest sold commodity in India. In fact, the largest chunk of Maggi's global sales comes from India. As of now, Maggi noodles are manufactured in 5 factories spread across India. 

The process begins by collecting Wheat from select farms spread across the country. The wheat is turned into flour and is then kneaded into a dough. A machine turns this dough into small chunks that are then cut into noodles. These noodles and then steamed and fried before dehydrating them. Maggi noodles are 80% cooked when they are packaged!

But what makes Maggi taste really good is the tastemaker. Maggi procures its spices from a select number of farms across the country. The factory sources Chillies from Andhra Pradesh, Cumin and coriander from Rajasthan, turmeric from Maharashtra and a few other spices from different states. A total of 10 spices go into making the iconic Maggi tastemaker. The spices are then roasted and ground before shipping them out to factories around the country. Once the spices arrive at the factory they are blended in proportion and packaged in high-quality packets to preserve their freshness.

The noodles and the tastemaker are then packaged together and stocked in boxes. Maggi has automised around 80% of their production process. Large boxes containing 96 packets of Maggi are then shipped out to consumers across the city.

Maggi acts as a really good base to experiment cooking with. The food options that you can make and the number of ways to eat Maggi are endless! Maggi is a dish that can be truly customised as per the consumer. There is no part of India where Maggi isn't sold. Over the years, it has made its way even to the rural parts of our country where its considered as a special treat for celebrating an occasion. 

Despite the whole MSG controversy and the Maggi ban, India's favourite brand of instant noodles is back and is stronger than ever. Maggi has constantly been trying to expand its product chain by adding new flavours. They have launched flavours like Chicken, Piri Piri, green chilli and many more. And although these new flavours work well in the market, people keep going back to the classic "Meri Maggi."

 

WRITTEN BY  - Atharva lobo atharvalobo@gmail.com

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