Nestle India is neck-deep in trouble. And that's not just because Maggi Noodles is staring at a nation-wide ban, or the fact that it's being tested across different countries, but because it's competitors are capitalizing on probably what one might call their 'worst phase'.
(States that Have Banned Maggi Noodles: Story So Far)
The Food Safety and Standards Authority (FSSAI) may have pulled up their socks but so have other brands of instant noodles. According to a popular daily, ITC has handed out notices to retailers and distributors stating that their brand of instant noodles 'Sunfeast Yippee!' are safe. They've also shared a similar message on their website.
(After the Maggi Noodles Controversy: ITC Goes in for More Tests of its Products)
"We believe that it is extremely important for us to reassure you of the quality and safety of Sunfeast Yippee! Noodles. All Yippee! Noodles are manufactured in state of the art, world-class facilities complying with strict quality and hygiene norms. Between ITC Ltd and its trusted network of suppliers, numerous tests are conducted daily at every factory to ensure that safe products reach our consumers."
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"Further, stringent tests are conducted for our food products at ITC's NABL accredited Life Sciences & Technology Centre as well as at FSSAI approved, NABL accredited external laboratories. In all these tests, our food products have consistently been found to comply with all regulations including those related to levels of lead. No restrictions have been imposed in any state on the manufacture, distribution or sale of Sunfeast Yippee! Noodles."
(After Maggi Noodles, Other Instant Noodles and Pasta Brands to be Tested)
Another prominent personality who has spoken out on the issue of Maggi Noodles is Baba Ramdev. "Maggi should apologise. And if the government takes strong measures the company should be asked to pack up and leave the country. We don't need a company that spreads poison. Maggi is filled with lead. If children have Maggi they would be prone to heart, kidney and liver failures besides cancer" (as quoted by a popular daily).
(Excess Lead Found, Food Inspectors Order Recall of Maggi Noodles)
That's not all he said. Baba Ramdev has also announced that he will be soon launching his own brand of noodles that will not be made with maida but with a healthier alternative. He also said that the noodles won't be harmful to a person and won't be addictive. He went on to say that he would also launch his own brand of health drinks for children that would compete with Complan, Bournvita and Horlicks.
Other Brands Being Tested
Just earlier this week, central food safety regulator FSSAI ordered testing of various noodles, pasta and macaroni brands. Top Ramen, Foodles, Wai Wai and more. The FSSAI also asked for the four variants of "Maggi Nutilicious Pazzta with tastemakers" to be tested. According to an NDTV report, the companies whose products have been listed for testing are Nestle India, ITC, Indo Nissin Food Ltd, GSK Consumer Helathcare, CG Foods India, Ruchi International and AA Nutrition Ltd.
India is the world's 5th largest instant noodles market and worth approximately Rs.3000 crore. Of this huge chunk, Maggi Noodles sat on almost 60-65 per cent of it, and it's been the case for a little over three decades. So it should come as no surprise, that with Maggi Noodles neck-deep in trouble, this huge a market share might be up for grabs. Reports also indicate that the Maggi Noodles disaster might cause a huge dent in the instant noodles market itself, but it still allows room for other brands to take over.