FSSAI is responsible for maintaining food quality standards in India. To understand better, let start with the scratch as for how this controversy grew up? Uttar Pradesh FDA examined few samples of Nestle’s Maggi noodles and it found the high quantity of lead and MSG in samples. This controversy grew big as a result of ‘NO ADDED MSG’ label printed on the package. The lead was 7 times more exceeding the permissible limit. In food license, FSSAI has prescribed 2.5ppm as a permissible limit for lead. However, Nestlé Company claimed that it does not use MSG in its noodles.
How it went down:
FSSAI and the Maharashtra FDA ordered the ban on Maggi without show cause notice. On 5th June, terming Nestlé’s Instant Maggi Noodles as ‘unsafe and hazardous’ for human consumption led to a shock on Indian psyche. Khambata, representing Maharashtra FDA alleged that Nestle has burned 30,000 tons of Maggi noodles to destroy evidence. Furthermore, this led to a total loss of worth Rs.320 Crore. As a consequence, Maggi samples were examined in different states and MSG was found in violation of permissible limit and as a result, was banned. Indian army also directed its personnel not to consume Maggi noodles until it gets the green signal. Ministry of consumer affairs lodged a complaint seeking Rs.640 crores as damages from Nestle Company.
However, Nestlé’s global CEO Paul Bulcke, while addressing media asserted that Maggi Noodles is safe for consumption and consumers trust is foremost priority for them. He promised that Maggi noodles will be back soon in the market.
This controversy compelled Nestlé India to recall its product from market shelves. This led to an overall fall in shares by 15 % in the stock market. Maggi sales dropped to 20 %. Nestle India recorded its first ever loss i.e. Rs.124.20 Crore which was 60% down. Nestle had to shut down its operations all of a sudden. Due to this ban, employees got scared of their jobs. But Nestle reported that all the employees were appointed to other jobs during that period.
During legal proceedings, Maggi claimed that it has conducted 2700 laboratory tests all over the world and it was found safe everywhere with no red flag.
On 13th August 2015, Bombay High Court set aside the ban order. Nestle India aggressively launched its product in the market with the message ‘WeMissYoutoo’ making its customers happy.
How Maggi made its Grand Entry Again?
The Nestle India re-launched its most popular product, Maggi noodles five months after they were banned by the court of law due to an excessive content of lead. Nestle successfully made a huge comeback in one hundred towns through 300 odd-distributors and rolled out in many more areas. Besides, the Swiss food major partnered with online sites like Snapdeal for the rolling out.
Nestle, the parent company of Maggi focused more on the tv commercials, to gain back the trust of the customers. The ad telecasted after relaunching the product included a small message regarding the safety and health of all the customers which managed to get their customers back. Besides ads on tv’s, nestle proved themselves right on the social media platform also. Though Maggi lost its customers at that time, when it entered the market, it continued to be as the “King”, still ruling every child’s heart now also.
Related post- FSSAI showed power through Maggi controversy.