The raging controversy over Maggi noodles has taken a toll on the sale of the popular quick fix snack that has pampered the Indian palate for over 25 years.
In Chandigarh, major stores have taken Maggi off the shelves as reports of high lead content in these instant noodles have created a scare among consumers.
Distributors claim they haven’t supplied any stock to shopkeepers this month as there has been no demand.
“There is no demand as of now. As a result, we are not buying any stock from the company. We are unclear whether we should supply stock to retailers or hold it back. We are awaiting the company’s response in this regard,”says Nikhil, manager of GR Enterprise, one of the main Nestle distributors in the city.
Nikhil says the sales started dipping last month after reports of harmful chemicals in Maggi appeared in the media. “But now the sales have hit rock bottom,” he said. Pawan Khendelwal, proprietor of Ramesh Agencies, another leading Nestle distributor, said: “We cater to the southern part of the city. There is no demand from retailers. We haven’t bought any stock from the company this month.”
Shopkeepers across tricity say the sales have plummeted. SK Mittal of Punjab store in Sector 9 says: “People have stopped buying Maggi. The fear factor among residents has hit the sale of noodles hard.”
“We have stopped selling Maggi as it’s not morally correct to sell the product that is under the scanner for violating food safety norms,”says Ajay Gulati, one of the owners of Empire Store in Sector 17.
The residents, too, are not taking any chances. Says Shruti Gupta, who stays as a paying guest in Sector 15: “Reports of harmful chemicals in Maggi have created a lot of panic. These instant noodles are my staple diet. But now I am scared to eat my favourite snack.”