Home >Companies >News >Nestlé India runs ad campaigns to ‘reassure’ its consumers

NEW DELHI : Packaged goods company Nestle India is stepping up marketing efforts in response to global reports that a significant portion of its foods and drinks portfolio failed to meet recognized standards of health and nutrition.

In India, the maker of Nescafe coffee and Munch chocolates is runnin print advertisements over the next few days and address consumer queries. The company also asked consumers to share feedback on its products in an advertisement released on Sunday.

“Recent reports have questioned the healthfulness of Nestlé products, because a global internal working document was reported out of context. The portfolio analysis only covers about half the global sales, since several prominent categories were not included. In fact, looking at the global portfolio as a whole, less than 30% would not meet stringent external “healthfulness" standards, mostly representing indulgent products, which are acceptable in moderation as part of healthy, balanced and enjoyable diet," a company spokesperson said in statement.

The company will be releasing print advertisements to “reassure" consumers, the spokesperson said.

The move comes after a 31 May report by Financial Times stated that more than 60% of Nestle’s mainstream food and drinks portfolio failed to meet recognized standards of health and nutrition, bringing the world’s largest packaged foods company under fire. The newspaper, privy to a presentation that was circulated among Nestle’s top employees, reported that “Nestlé, has acknowledged that more than 60% of its mainstream food and drinks products do not meet a ‘recognized definition of health’ and that ‘some of our categories and products will never be ‘healthy’ no matter how much we renovate".

It added that 70% of Nestle’s products—within its core food and drinks portfolio—failed to meet a ranking threshold of the Australian health star rating system.

The company quickly moved to address concerns by stating that it is working on a company-wide project to update its nutrition and health strategy.

Nestle reiterated that it has reduced sugar and sodium in its products significantly over the past two decades.

The company said that while systems such as the Health Star Rating and Nutri-Score are useful and enable consumers to make informed choices, “they don’t capture everything".

“About half of our sales are not covered by these systems. That includes categories such as infant nutrition, specialized health products and pet food, which follow regulated nutrition standards," the company said then.

In India, Nestle faced its worst food crisis in 2015, after samples of Maggi were reported to have higher than permissible levels of the flavour enhancer monosodium glutamate (MSG) and lead, leading to a nationwide removal of the noodles brand from retail shelves.

The company subsequently reinstated the product after it cleared a fresh set of tests and cleared legal hurdles.

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