In 2015, the instant noodles product from FMCG major Nestle's stable was banned following allegations of high lead content. First the brouhaha was about excessive lead in the tastemaker, and now it's allegedly too much ash. Maggi, India's favourite instant noodles brand, is back under the scanner after samples collected by the district administration of Shahjahanpur, Uttar Pradesh, reportedly contained ash content above the permissible limits of human consumption.
The FMCG company, however, has claimed not to have received any such order yet. "While we have not received the orders passed by the adjudication officer, we have been informed that the samples are of the year 2015 and the issue pertains to 'ash content'. This appears to be a case of application of incorrect standards, and we will file an appeal urgently once we receive the order," said a Nestle India spokesperson.
India is fifth when it comes to consumption of instant noodles around the world
Figs: No. of packets (in mn) sold in one year
Hungry for more
According to the Mordor Intelligence report, the instant noodles industry in India has emerged as the most attractive, witnessing 7.6% annual growth between 2010 and 2017, despite the ban on Maggi.
Since Maggi's 2015 ban, some of the other brands, such as Top Ramen, Yippee, Ching's Secret, Knorr Soupy Noodles and Wai-Wai, besides the recently-launched Patanjali Atta Noodles, have gained some market share, but are still lightyears away from the market leader. Patanjali is probably the fastest growing brand in the instant noodles market, riding on the success of its FMCG vertical, which has a share of 11.8 per cent of the domestic market.
Slice of the pie