The controversy over excessive lead content in Nestle’s Maggi noodles has hit the sales of other brands also, traders said. The controversy has also frightened other companies.
Reliance Retail has taken all the instant noodle brands, including its own ‘Reliance Select’ brand of noodles, off the shelves from all its stores in Indore.
Kirana stores too have reported a steep drop in sales of other brands including Top Ramen, Sunfeast Yippee, and Ching’s ever since the Maggi controversy made headlines.
“Sale of other noodle brands have plunged by 80%,” said Mayank Tiwari, owner of a grocery shop near LIG Square.
“Students, our largest chuck of customers, have almost stopped buying noodles. If children ask for noodles, parents buy chocolates or something else to keep them in good humour,” he said.
Other shopkeepers HT spoke to also said that sales of other noodle brands have dropped by 50-90% in the past two to three days.
While Nestle has recalled its most popular product, organised retailers such as More continue to sell other brands of instant noodles.
“Sales have dropped drastically, but customers are still buying Yippee and Ching’s noodles,” a youth operating the cash counter at More store said. However, the store manager refused to talk to HT on the issue.
Reliance Retail on Friday decided to ‘temporarily withdraw’ all instant noodle brands from its stores across Indore as part of a nationwide exercise.
“This is a temporary step as we wait for more clarity to emerge on the issue. The step has been taken in the interest of all our stakeholders,” said a Reliance official requesting anonymity.
Meanwhile, administrative officials on Friday collected samples of noodles of all the brands from different outlets in Indore. Indore collector P Narhari has said that the samples will be tested for presence of lead and other banned substances.