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Nestlé India buoys consumer confidence with new print campaign

The company faced flak over the nutritional value of its products.

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Kolkata: After the Swiss major FMCG Nestlé faced flak over the nutritional value of its products, its Indian unit has announced a major outreach campaign to reassure and retain its customers.

In the print advertisement released on Sunday, the company asked consumers to share their concerns. The ad displays the entire portfolio of Nestlé India products emphasising the fact that the products are made with “over a 100 years of trust.”

The multinational company said that it is releasing a series of print advertisements over the next few days, “to reassure consumers that it genuinely cares about what matters to them, what concerns them, and that we are there for them 24x7 if they have any questions or suggestions.” The ads also include contact details which consumers can use to reach out to the company.

The global food major came under fire last week, after Financial Times reported, that an internal document of the company has described a large portion of its food and drinks as 'unhealthy. According to the report, more than 60 percent of Nestlé’s mainstream food and drinks portfolio did not meet the recognised definition of health. This excludes products like pet food, baby food, and specialised medical nutrition.

“Recent reports have questioned the healthfulness of Nestlé products, because of a global internal working document that was reported out of context. The portfolio analysis only covers about half the global sales, since several prominent categories were not included,” said a spokesperson for Nestlé India, as quoted by The Hindu.

According to the company, 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 per cent would not meet stringent external “healthfulness" standards, mostly representing indulgent products, which are acceptable in moderation as part of a healthy, balanced and enjoyable diet," the spokesperson added.

The parent company of household names like Maggi, Milkmaid, Kitkat, Nescafé said its approach as “a credible, trustworthy and responsible company is to always communicate with consumers on facts, in a humble and transparent tone and manner.

In its defence, Nestlé had also said that efforts were ongoing over decades to improve the nutritional footprint of its products, adding that it has reduced sugar and sodium in the last two decades, about 14-15 per cent in the past seven years alone.

As far as Nestle India’s portfolio is concerned, it is somewhat different from its parent company with only nine out of Nestle’s 35 billionaire brands having a presence in India.

This is not the first time that Nestle has found itself in such controversy. Its instant noodles Maggi came under scrutiny after samples were reported to have higher than permissible levels of monosodium glutamate. Following legal challenges, negative consumer sentiment, it had to launch a fresh set of products.

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