Unilever plans to take Knorr soupy noodles, a product developed by its Indian subsidiary Hindustan Unilever, to global markets, particularly emerging and developing countries. The company recently launched Knorr soupy noodles in Pakistan and Sri Lanka, making it one of a handful of Unilever’s made-in-India international brands along with Fair & Lovely, Wheel, Annapoorna and Pureit low-cost water purifier.
Hindustan Unilever Regional Vice-President Sidharth Singh said initial response to the product is very positive in both Sri Lanka and Pakistan. The development reflects the Indian arm’s increasing importance in Unilever’s global plans.
“Unilever wants to grow their packaged foods portfolio in emerging markets and HUL seems to be participating in both R&D as well as new products launches for them,” said Indiabulls Securities Vice-President Anand Mour. In 2008, Unilever consolidated its research and development operations and Hindustan Unilever’s Bangalore R&D centre was chosen as one of the six global centres.
Since then an increasing number of brands and innovations are trickling from India to Unilever’s global markets. Pureit was launched in Bangladesh and Indonesia last year and now it is expected to be taken to South-East Asia, Latin America and sub-Saharan African markets.
Annapurna Salt too was launched in Africa. Detergent brand Wheel, created in India during mid 1980s, is the market leader in both India and Bangladesh.
Fair & Lovely was launched in 1978 in India and is now sold in more than 30 countries. HUL has extended Kissan jam brand into spreads and juices and Knorr soup brand into noodles to build its food portfolio.