New Delhi: Hundreds of people are gathering at the Maggi Noodles' food stall next to Hall Number 7 at the ongoing India International Trade Fair (IITF) to taste their favorite comfort food. After being off the shelves for more than six months, India's popular instant noodles is back in the market.
"This is the only stall here at the trade fair. It's the first time that a Maggi stall has been installed here at Pragati Maidan and the response has been overwhelming. We are selling 500-600 plates every day. It's just plain Maggi noodles but still people are thronging our counter more than any other food stalls here," Shobhit Sharma from the sales team of Nestle, the Switzerland-based holding company of the international brand of soups, noodles and seasonings, told IANS.
One of the reasons cited for the success of Maggi sales at the trade fair is the revoking of the ban that was imposed six months ago on the brand.
"People are craving for Maggi. It is back in the market after six months which seems to be a long time for Maggi lovers. It is something which is consumed by people of all age groups throughout the country. Most of our customers today here have been older people - which is quiet surprising since mostly it is believed that only the younger generation prefers the two-minute noodles," Sharma added.
Satish Chauhan, one of the food coupon distributors at the Park Balluchi eating centre (next to Hall No.7), said that less than two percent of the crowd was buying coupons of other food stalls.
"Everybody wants Maggi here. We have other food stalls also offering food like dosas, bhel puri and pizzas but the demand for Maggi has been highest since day 1," Chuahan told IANS.
Young professional Neha Sharma from Tilak Nagar said: "Ever since I came here I've been longing for these noodles and Pakistani chai. It is a sigh of relief. There is a lot of decadent food over here but all I want is Maggi. My mother came to the trade fair on the first day itself and informed me that there is a Maggi stall at the trade fair. So today I'm here with her."
In May, eight variants of the noodles were under the radar of the Food and Safety Standards Authority of India after it found 'non-permissible' levels of lead and MSG in the product. However, the food departments of Britain and Canada approved the product as safe for consumption. Nestle India had re-launched its popular noodle brand on November 9 after the Bombay High Court lifted the ban on it.