Nestle’s Maggi noodles are facing the heat in India after health authorities found unsafe levels of MSG and Lead in the product. As a result India’s favourite instant meal has been banned in most states in the country. And lastly the Nestle have decided to withdraw the product from the market.
The controversy started when Food Safety Regulators from Uttar Pradesh, India found that Maggi 2 Minute Noodles had up to 17 times the permissible limit of lead in addition to monosodium glutamate in it. After that on 3 June 2015, the New Delhi Government banned the sale of Maggi in New Delhi stores for 15 days because it found lead and monosodium glutamate beyond the permissible limit. Following Gujarat FDA on June 4, 2015 banned the noodles for 30 days after 27 out of 39 samples were detected with objectionable levels of metallic lead, among other things. As a result some big retailers like Future Group which includes Big Bazaar, Easyday and Nilgiris have imposed a nationwide ban on Maggi.
Tamil Nadu has banned Wai Wai, Smith And Jones And Reliance Select Noodles also for the same reason. So now the question is how the dangerous lead got into our noodles. The reasons are many one of it can be through environment illegal recycling of lead batteries, rituals such as immersing painted idols in rivers and lakes, and degraded plumbing materials and more. Now food safety agency of the United Kingdom will start testing a few samples of Maggi noodles, which includes a particular variant 'masala' which is imported from India, starting Saturday.
In India Maggi instant noodles are very popular and hold 60% of market share as it was the first instant noodle brand but on June, 2015 Maggi noodles were banned in India due to concern over an excess levels of lead and presence of MSG in Maggi noodles, Nestle India has disclosed having spent Rs. 445 core on ‘advertising and sales promotion’ last year, while the expenses towards ’quality testing’ was less than 5 per cent of such amounts. However, there is no surprise because all such companies spend huge sums on brand promotions. The controversy has caused a tremendous loss for the company.
Of course, the end of Maggi means that an entire one set of generation of Indians for whom Maggi was the most instant snack at reasonable price is currently in mourning and the Internet is flooded with such discussions. With the controversy there have been many questions arising such as Firstly, Maggi has been in the market as a prime food item for many decades. How come it has suddenly become so controversial, why was it found to be so harmful all of sudden when it has been in the market for nearly 40 years. Secondly, Delhi finds the lead content whereas Maharashtra, Goa, Kerala, West Bengal and other countries like Bangladesh gives the clean chit.
Now since the issue has gone out of hand and Maggi have gone is there any chance for it to come back after taking a damage control action. Yes entering again a market with same name is not possible. The marketers will have to think a new strategy or will be there be a entry of a new product that will revolutionize and create history just like Maggi Noodles. The controversies associated with products like Pepsi in past and recently with Maggi have given lessons to Companies and Marketers that bigger the brand is the damage will be more and thus be prepared for it always. Maggi was a power brand, people used to buy any other noodles with using the name Maggi, and so the impact is not only on Maggi but also on Company with the same products. Even theirs sales have gone down in past week.
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