Growing up in a middle-class household in a small town meant that every noodle was Maggi and vice versa.
To my mother it didn’t matter if it was Ramen noodles, she was going to call it Maggi and that was the end of discussion. Even the shopkeeper near our house would give you a packet of Maggi, if you just asked for noodles.
That’s how popular the brand, the name Maggi was. Noodles meant Maggi and that was it.
But did you know why it’s called that?
The idea first came into the head of a Swiss entrepreneur Julius Michael Johannes Maggi, who launched a line of food products in the 1860s, with no idea that a century and a half later, every to Indian bachelor, he would be the god of food.
According to the Hindustan Times, the Swiss milling industry was struggling at that time. So Julius collaborated with physician Fridolin Schuler, with the goal of improving the nutritional content of meals for the working classes by making packaged foods.
But in 1884, when their product failed to take off, Maggi went back to the basics and made ready-to-use soups and launched a range of food flavours in 1886.
The Swiss government saw potential in the product and supported him to make products that were easy and quick to prepare and still managed to have nutritional value. Their key demographic were working women who had just begun to take up careers, resulting in an instant success with pea and bean soups.
Nestlé acquired the Maggi brand in 1947 and introduced the two-minute noodles in India in 1983.
Before his death at the age of 66 in 1912, Maggi had opened subsidiaries in Paris, Berlin, Singen, Vienna, Bregenz and London and a representative office in the US.
So, basically the moral of the story is that the reason you don’t have to cook real food and can eat Maggi every time you are hungry is because women decided to get jobs. Also, because my man, Julius had a great idea!