In November 2015, Nestle launched a premium instant noodle for sale only in Brunei and East Malaysia – Sabah and Sarawak. The Big Combo 2 in 1 Mi Kolo + Sup retails at a price of RM 7.15 for a pack of four (4x119g). As a comparison, the new premium Maggi Royale Johor is selling for RM 8.25 (4x99g). Mi Kolo also known as Mi Kolok is a combination of dry noodle and soup and is famous in Sarawak.
It took Maggi one year to come up with the right blend of flavours, said Ivy Tan, Nestle Malaysia, Maggi Business Development manager for East Malaysia. East Malaysia and Brunei will be the test bed for Mi Kolo + Sup. Therefore, there are no plans to launch it in West Malaysia at the moment. Launching a new product specifically for East Malaysia only is an interesting development. Normally, West Malaysia would serve as the launch pad for new product development before introducing the new product in East Malaysia.
FMCG companies are now going online to gauge the reception of their new products. In 2015, Nestle exclusively launched Nescafe Mountain Wash decaffeinated coffee on Tesco Malaysia and other online stores before making it available in brick-and-mortar stores. In India, online has become an important channel to introduce new products, thanks to the greater reach of e-commerce compared to physical stores. It is also a low-cost approach and is able to reach the young Internet population. The same is happening in China where FMCG companies are bypassing hypermarkets, which requires listing fees, by going straight to e-commerce (ie Tmall).
Hopefully, Nestle will use the same low-cost approach of making available Mi Kolo through the Internet for consumers in West Malaysia to taste the new innovation.
* All the images from Maggi website.