New Delhi, November 29: FMCG major Nestle India has entered into a fresh trouble as its popular noodle brand Maggi has allegedly failed lab test in Uttar Pradesh. The district administration of Shahjahanpur, Uttar Pradesh, has slapped a fine on Nestle India and its distributors after its popular noodles brand failed to pass the lab test. Reacting to the latest reports, the FMCG major maintained that ‘it is a case of application of incorrect standards’. As per reports, a fine of Rs 45 lakh has been imposed by the district administration on Nestle, Rs 15 lakh on its three distributors and Rs 11 lakh on its two sellers.
The district authorities had collected the samples last year in November and sent them for lab test, which had found ash content above the permissible limits of human consumption. Nestle India, however, questioned the lab findings and said it has not received the order yet and would file an appeal urgently once it receives the order. “While we have not received the orders passed by the adjudication officer, we have been informed that the samples are of the year 2015 and the issue pertains to ‘ash content’ in Noodles,” said a Nestle India spokesperson.
In June 2015, the national food safety regulator had banned the sale of Maggi noodles for allegedly containing lead beyond permissible limits and directed Nestle to withdraw the product. From an 80% share of India’s noodles market, as estimated by Nomura Securities in May 2015, Maggi went down to zero in just a month. During the period when Maggi was banned, ITC Ltd’s Yippee noodles and Wai Wai noodles from Nepal’s CG Foods gained market share, filling a gap in a Rs3,182-crore noodles market. However, after so many legal battles, Maggi Two-Minute Noodles was back in the market in November 2015.
In August this year, Nestle India had tied up with e-commerce player Amazon for the launch of its new range of popular Maggi noodles. The new range- Nutri Licious were made available to consumers first on Amazon starting August 20, 2017.