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Maggi clears lab tests, to begin manufacturing noodles soon

Nestlé India said on Friday all samples of Maggi two-minute noodles had cleared tests mandated by the Bombay high court, paving the way for the popular snack’s return to the market months after it was banned over the presence of excess lead.

india Updated: Oct 16, 2015 20:17 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Maggi noodles,Nestle India,Bombay high court
File photo of packets of Nestle's Maggi instant noodles at a shop. (Reuters)

It’s official — your favourite instant noodles Maggi will be back soon.

Nestle India, maker of the country’s highly popular Maggi, on Friday announced all samples of recently-banned instant noodles have cleared the tests conducted by three laboratories as mandated by the Bombay High Court.

The move will now allow Maggi to be back on the shelves after it was banned over the presence of excess lead since June this year.

“All the 90 samples, covering six variants, tested by these laboratories are clear with lead much below the permissible limits,” Nestle India said in a statement. “In compliance with the orders of the Bombay High Court, we will now commence manufacture and will start selling only after the newly-manufactured products are also cleared by the designated three laboratories.”

The company said “it is committed to reintroduce Maggi into the retail market at the earliest”. However, analysts believe it could take up to six months to put back Maggi back on the shelves across India. “One of the challenges for Nestle is to fill up the pipeline again. From the day of production, it could take three to six months to reach out to the retailers in the far flung areas across India,” said Arvind Singhal, chairman of retail consultancy Technopak.

Various countries, including the US, the UK, Singapore, Australia and others have found Maggi noodles safe for consumption. Nestle claims to have conducted over 3,500 tests representing over 200 million packs in both national as well as international accredited laboratories with all the reports clear. “It is never easy to build the trust again… But an excellent communication plan and a crisp ad campaign could be a way out,” said Srinivas K Reddy, director, center for marketing excellence, Lee Kong Chian School of Business, Singapore Management University.

Retailers, however, reject the skepticism. “We missed Maggi because our customers missed it a lot,” said Darshana Shah, senior V-P, marketing, HyperCity, retail chain. “Despite the availability of many other brands, no brand was able to fill in the vacuum left by Maggi.”

First Published: Oct 16, 2015 14:46 IST