Maggi was back on the shelves on Monday five months after the
popular instant noodles were banned in the country for higher than permissible
levels of lead in one of the biggest crises to hit Nestle.
The Swiss food giant’s
best-seller in India, Maggi noodles returned in the same bright yellow
packaging and at a price of Rs 12 for a single pack as was before June 5 when
the country’s food regulator ordered their recall for unsafe levels of lead and
failing to mention monosodium glutamate, or MSG, a chemical flavour enhancer.
“The return of Maggi Noodles
on the auspicious eve of Deepawali and on the day of Dhanteras is a moment of
celebration for all of us,” said Nestle India chairman and managing director
It will be few months before
the popular snack will be available across the country, as the ‘masala’ version
has been relaunched in 100 cities towns, including Delhi.
All samples of Maggi Noodles
Masala were cleared by three food-testing labs as mandated by the Bombay high
court, Nestle India said. The tests were ordered by the court as it overturned
the ban, calling it “arbitrary”.
“The rollout has begun today. It has been a challenging period
for the Nestle Organisation, and therefore, there is a feeling of satisfaction
at bringing back Maggi noodles,” Nestle India said in a regulatory filing. The
company took a hit of Rs 450 crore and was forced to destroy more than 30,000
tonnes of the quick-cooking noodles. “It’s just a few hours of
launch, but the response of consumer is overwhelming,” said Narayanan.
The noodles will not be
available in Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Orissa, Nagaland, Mizoram, Tripura,
Punjab and Uttrakhand, as local governments are yet to lift the ban after the
Uttar Pradesh government ordered a recall in May, triggering a chain reaction
across the country.
Nestle has also entered into an exclusive arrangement with
Snapdeal, an ecommerce platform, to sell Maggi from November 12 though
“registration” began on Monday. Maggie is presently available
on Snapdeal in carton. A carton contains 100 packets.
India still faces Rs 640 crore class action suit filed by the government for
allegedly misleading the public and indulging in unfair trade practices.