Product innovation meets distribution success

Proyectos

The Noodles category is a highly misunderstood one. The general perception of the instant-noodles’ customer is that they are looking for low prices and a filling meal, without interest in product quality. However, customers have demonstrated at various times over the last 20 years that their purchasing decision is based on flavor and quality. At maxiaNET we have this very clear.

When JML presented us with the challenge of introducing their instant noodles in Latin America, we knew they required a strategy where product and brand innovation would fuel a successful new supply chain.

Desafío

JML was looking for a business partner to support them in the process of conquering Latin America with their instant noodles. JML is the market leader in Asia, but to ensure a successful expansion, they needed a partner who could provide in-depth knowledge of the Latin American context,  the regional distribution chains, the product category, and consumers behavior. They required a plan that would allow them to gain presence through a clear and consistent pricing structure, with an appropriate placement plan per point of sale, and a solid promotion strategy that would allow them to penetrate the continent’s larger markets in an orderly fashion.

Solución

After carefully analyzing the noodle soup category, we structured a comprehensive proposal that included:

  • Achieving product/market fit: from designing recipes and packaging to developing different product presentations to align with customer needs.
  • Brand adaptation for the Latin American market: from the brand name and logo to the colors used to identify flavors. All based on a deep understanding of the category and supported by the results of focus groups and market testing. The brand name proposed was Sopa Fan’s.
  • Distribution strategy to determine each market’s appropriate sales channels: based on our visibility system that provides updated information during all phases of distribution.
  • Pricing and promotion plan: since we knew that a low price wouldn’t necessarily mean the brand’s success, we focused on creating critical differentiators for the brand. We built different pricing and promotion scenarios specific to each market and sales channel.

Together with the client, we designed a solution to have a product that represented an evolution in the instant noodles market. We got involved in the strategy just as an insider would have. We treated the brand, not as a product distributor would do, but as an internal company collaborator should.

Results

Sopa Fan’s will be launched in Costa Rica, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Panama in 2022, with a comprehensive plan that incorporates several flavors and new presentations. One of these presentations includes a fork in the package, responding to an identified consumers’ need. The expansion plan includes incorporating other vital markets in the region and testing different flavors to reach consumers looking for high-quality and innovative products in the following months.

JML’s original strategy included different ways to enter the Latin American market. For example, they planned to use regional distributors with a presence in niche markets or those with activity in more than one country. However, no one presented such a robust strategy as maxiaNET, accompanied by an execution plan that contemplated all aspects of desition-making, from branding and product design to regulatory compliance in each country.

And that’s exactly what we wanted to deliver to JLM: a deep understanding of the category and consumers based on complex data; a strategy grounded on the added value of the product and not on a reduced price; as well as a promotion plan to reach customers in multiple sales channels.  We have the experience and know-how to make it happen.