Nes­tle reaches out to con­sumers over Maggi

The Pak Banker - - COMPANIES/BOSS -

Nes­tle In­dia Ltd has pub­lished a se­ries of videos on Maggi noo­dles, even as it con­tin­ues to fight for a clean chit from le­gal and reg­u­la­tory author­i­ties, in what brand ex­perts said could be a pre­lude to a come­back for the pop­u­lar snack.

In the past 24 hours, the In­dian arm of the Swiss pack­aged-food multi­na­tional firm has re­leased three short videos on its of­fi­cial YouTube chan­nel Meri Maggi. The videos have been shared on Twit­ter with the hash­tag #WeMis­sYouToo, as Nes­tle In­dia tries to keep the brand alive in con­sumers' minds, while it re­mains off the shelves.

On 13 Au­gust, the Bom­bay high court set aside a ban im­posed by the Food Safety and Stan­dards Au­thor­ity of In­dia (FSSAI) on sale of Maggi noo­dles and asked for retest­ing at three lab­o­ra­to­ries cer­ti­fied by the Na­tional Ac­cred­i­ta­tion Board for Test­ing and Cal­i­bra­tion Lab­o­ra­to­ries in Pune, Hy­der­abad and Punjab. Nes­tle had moved the high court fol­low­ing the FSSAI or­der on 5 June ask­ing the firm to im­me­di­ately with­draw all nine vari­ants of Maggi noo­dles, call­ing them "un­safe and haz­ardous" for hu­man con­sump­tion.

"Of course, it's their come­back cam­paign. But there are larger is­sues to be man­aged. While the video tugs at your heart­strings, as long as the le­gal and qual­ity con­trol is­sues re­main un­re­solved, it may not open your purse strings," said Ki­ran Kha­lap, co-founder, Chloro­phyll Brand and Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Con­sul­tancy.

Ear­lier this month, Nes­tle In­dia man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Suresh Narayanan said bring­ing Maggi noo­dles back to re­tail shelves was his pri­or­ity. Narayanan, who has been sent to In­dia as the firm's face in its ef­forts to tackle the is­sue, said it will be spend­ing "more on advertising, mar­ket­ing and pro­mo­tions across cat­e­gories to counter im­pact on sales caused by the Maggi ban".

He did not say how much Nes­tle plans to spend. Typ­i­cally, Nes­tle In­dia is a low spender on advertising, with just about 45% of rev­enue al­lo­cated for advertising and pro­mo­tions since 2010, ac­cord­ing to its an­nual re­ports.

Now, it could in­crease advertising and pro­mo­tions spend­ing to about 7%, ac­cord­ing to Su­nita Sachdev, an an­a­lyst at UBS Se­cu­ri­ties In­dia.

"These short films re­flect the spon­tane­ity and af­fec­tion be­tween the con­sumers and Maggi. We are mak­ing ef­forts to get Maggi Noo­dles back on the shelves and have been over­whelmed by the mes­sages of love and sup­port that we re­ceive each day. Such mes­sages strengthen our re­solve to be back with our beloved con­sumers.

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