In recent years, the Nigerian market has become saturated with various brands of instant noodles. The World Instant Noodles Association ranks Nigeria as the eleventh country with the highest consumption rate of instant noodles in 2016. This is not surprising, especially considering that about sixteen different instant noodles brands are readily available across the country. Some of these brands include Mimee, Honeywell Noodles, Chikki, Indomie and Supreme Noodles, etc. Without a doubt, these brands are all trying their best to maintain market supremacy in the face of fierce competition. The question then remains- which brand leads?
For many years, the Indomie brand dominated and controlled about 100% of market share. This was until after about twelve years when the other brands emerged one after the other and sought their own shares of the market. Today, the ensuing competition has availed consumers the opportunity to choose alternative brands, especially so when prices and quality of some brands are not satisfactory.
Meanwhile, to find out whether Indomie is still the market leader, we compared it with Supreme Noodles due to their closely shared similarities.
About Indomie and Supreme Noodles
Indomie is the first instant noodles brand in Nigeria. The product hit the Nigerian market in 1995 following the incorporation of De-United Foods Industries, a collaborative venture between Salim Group of Indonesia and Tolaram Group of Singapore. Over the years, the company has gone through various transformations, but the Indomie brand, its unique characteristics, and market dominance remain the same if not stronger.
Supreme Noodles, on the other hand, is relatively new in the market. It is not clear when the brand was first introduced into the Nigerian market, as all efforts to confirm this from the manufacturer (Primera Food) proved abortive. But according to some vendors of the product, it came into the market between late 2016 and early 2017. During this time, the FOREX crisis in the country had caused the prices of virtually all the other competing brands to skyrocket, giving Supreme Noodles the needed opportunity to present itself as the much-needed substitute.
Similarities between Indomie and Supreme Noodles
One of the reasons why we chose to compare Indomie Noodles with Supreme Noodles is because of the striking resemblance between the two brands. This resemblance is most noticeable in the packaging. Having been in the market for the past two decades, it is safe to say that Indomie is the one being copied by Supreme. Virtually everything about the packaging is copied: its mostly yellow colour, the text fonts, the strategic location of the brand name on the package, etc.
The reason why Supreme Noodles may want to imitate Indomie? This much is clear— to leverage on the brand loyalty Indomie has achieved over the years. According to Mama Lateef who has a neighbourhood provision store in the Iyana-Ipaja area of Lagos, some noodles consumers often get deceived by Supreme Noodles’ packaging and so buy it thinking that they have bought the actual Indomie.
Meanwhile, out of all the noodles brands in Nigeria, Indomie is the only one to have achieved market loyalty. And while this works for them, it also poses some disadvantages.
“Almost all the customers that come here to buy noodles tell me they want to buy ‘Indomie’.” Mama Lateef said. “To them, they are all Indomie. And so when you give them any brand of noodles, they really don’t care. It’s only a few customers who actually specify which one they want.”
But despite the likelihood that Supreme Noodles might be taking advantage of its competitor’s brand loyalty status, the truth remains that Indomie continues to maintain market leadership. As an attendant at Justrite (a supermarket at Iyana-Ipaja) said, Indomie is still preferred a lot by consumers when judging from the volume of sales recorded daily.
We sell different brands of noodles. But in all sincerity, I can tell you that indomie is still the market leader. In fact, you shouldn’t even be comparing indomie with Supreme noodles. I’m sorry to say, but Supreme is insignificant compared to Indomie in terms of competition.-Anonymous attendant at Justrite
A Twitter poll conducted by Nairametrics supports the assertion that Indomie noodles maintain market supremacy even though Supreme Noodles remains significantly relevant. In the poll conducted on our website, 48% of respondents said that they have never heard about the brand and they do not care about it, while 25% have heard about it yet believe that Indomie leads the market. Meanwhile, only 9% of the respondents love the brand, and 18% would not mind trying it out.
Indomie, on the other hand, has glowing statistics. A FinIntell survey revealed that Indomie ranked best in almost all the indices of customer satisfaction in the Nigerian noodles market space. According to the survey, Indomie is the most delicious noodles in Nigeria by 53.30%. The closest ranked brand is by 14.80%. Indomie is also ranked the best quantity noodles brand (57.30%). In the same vein, it is the best packaged (58.10%), and the best advertised by 49.59%.
In conclusion, it is clear from all indications that Indomie does not only rank better when compared with Supreme Noodles, it is also the market leader in the noodles sub-category. Notwithstanding, the relevance of brands like Supreme Noodles should never be underestimated. If not for anything else, the competition posed by lesser known brands of noodles in Nigeria is helping to regulate the prices, just as much as the brand’s presence in the market boosts economic development by offering employment opportunities to many.