Julius Maggi: The architect of the instant noodle revolution


By NewsGram Staff Writer

A popular favourite and an easy fix for the hunger pangs, Maggi 2-minute noodle was considered a boon by a multitude of people for some years, until the recent controversy broke-out.

The Maggi journey started in 1872 in Switzerland as a brainchild of Julius Maggi, an Italian native . The Swiss entrepreneur, who was a miller, also ventured into other areas of production when the mill business went downhill.

He got in touch with his friend Fridolin Schuler, who was working on the concept of improving nutritional content of the meals of the labour class. Together, they developed the idea of instant food made out of pulses and legumes.

On being asked by the Swiss Public Welfare Society to create a vegetable product that can be instantly cooked and easily digested, Julius Maggi developed the first readymade soup based on legumes.

Later on, he decided to develop a formula to add taste to the meals which paved the way for myriad products which could be instantly made. Among such products, was the instant two minutes noodles.

Instant noodle was first invented by Taiwanese- Japanese inventor Momofuku Ando of Nissin foods in 1958, decades after the death of Julius Maggi.

Nestle acquired Maggi in the year 1947, and launched the popular Maggi – 2 minute noodles in 1982.

Maggi enjoyed over 90% of market share in the sale of instant noodles for the next 25 years. Soon after, many other brands also launched their products modeled on the lines of Maggi.

Though other brands have been increasingly gaining traction, instant noodles are still referred to as Maggi by the consumers, regardless of the brand. That is definitely a symbol of the popularity and acceptance that Maggi noodles has achieved.

The masses considered Maggi as a top brand until the alleged discovery of lead and other substances beyond their permissible levels, was made in some of its samples.

Following the development, the Delhi government has banned Maggi for 15 days, and seven other states have moved on similar lines. Bollywood superstars such as Preity Zinta, Madhuri Dixit and Amitabh Bachchan are also facing heat over the promotion of Maggi.