Nestle India in Damage Control Mode following Controversy


Nestle is a multinational food company established in 1866 by Henry Nestle.  The brand has a legacy of over 150 years and operates with the motto “Good food, Good life.” Nestle’s range of products includes- Baby food, coffee, dairy products, breakfast cereals, confectionery, ice cream, frozen food, pet food, snacks, and much more.

 The FMCG giant makes over $1 billion in annual sales. Nestle has 447 factories, operating in 189 countries, that employs around 3,39000 people. It is one of the prime shareholders of L’Oreal, the largest cosmetic company in the world.

Recently, the news is spreading like fire everywhere that the products of Nestle have not passed the test of the quality index. The shocking part is that the brand’s highest-selling product Maggi also failed to live up to expectations. A few months ago, the Government of India warned Nestle when the quantity of Lead (Pb) was unusually high in the products since it is unhealthy for infants as well as adults.

During the pandemic, people have much interest in having healthy food for boosting immunities. Since Nestle is one of the biggest food brands in the world, this controversy on processed food can have potentially serious repercussions.

Nestle sells more food products in India than it does anywhere in the world. With the controversy lingering around that more than 60% of the brand’s products are unhealthy, it collectively contributes to the company’s bottom line Maggi. This news is set to have an immediate impact on Nestle in India. If Nestle wanted to turn healthy and go all-natural, then the brand would have revamped its product portfolio. At the moment, there’s no such move happening globally but as per a statement from Nestle spokesperson, the company is striving to increase the nutrient profile in products and simultaneously planning to innovate its product line with new and nutritious offering.

Many multinational companies including Nestle, see India as a consumer market for its products. These FMCG brands divide the nation’s population based on three-wide consuming markets. We can say, the first-class Indians is the wealthy consuming class paying too much attention to health. The citizens belonging to this class are more concerned and aware of the nutrients in the food. They have the potential to influence the policy of major companies and have an impact on the food processing industry.

India has a population of over 1.3 billion people and over half of the population belong to the middle class or fall below the poverty line. This category comprises citizens from smaller towns and rural areas of the country. For the minority underprivileged class or middle class, a product like Maggi may be a go-to meal for individuals. But the vast majority still live in the shadow being unaware of the nutritional value or access to nutritious food otherwise.

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