Making a comeback after five months, Maggi noodles are witnessing explosive sales this Diwali, with as many as 500 people placing online orders for it every minute
Here’s a Diwali sale with a difference: if you can’t find Maggi noodles at the local supermarket, you can now register for it online and get a few freebies to boot.
Maggi noodles are back on the shelves five months after they were banned for allegedly containing lead beyond permissible levels. Pic/PTI
Five months after it disappeared off shelves, Maggi finally made a comeback on Monday, but it is on the online marketplace Snapdeal that sales have been particularly explosive, with upto 500 people per minute registering to buy the noodles.
“The response to Maggi’s comeback has been phenomenal. At the peak, we saw over 500 registrations per minute today. We will start shipping Maggi out from November 12,” said a spokesperson from Snapdeal, which has limited stock of the noodles.
Snapdeal saw as many as 500 people registering per minute for the Maggi 'welcome kit'
In a statement, Nestle said: ‘This partnership with Snapdeal will strengthen our ability to reach Maggi Noodles to our consumers across India.’
In June, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) had found Maggi noodles unsafe for human consumption.
The product was banned across the nation, but the Bombay High Court lifted this ban in August. The HC had then instructed the state to conduct fresh tests, after which it was found that the noodles were safe to eat.
“More than 2,700 samples of Maggi noodles have been tested by laboratories in India and abroad in recent months, and each test confirmed the level of lead to be ‘far below permissible limits’,” said a statement released by Nestle earlier.
The noodles will now return to the market in phases, and is currently available in select stores in the city. However, those who have been unable to get their hands on a packet can turn to Snapdeal, which has tied up with Nestle to offer a special welcome kit to noodle aficionados.
The noodles are being sold in what is called the flash sales format, also known as the ‘deal of the day’, in which a website offers a single product for sale for a limited period of time.
Potential customers have to register to avail the deal. Registrations for this kit of 12 packs of noodles, along with freebies, will close as Diwali comes to an end, by 11 pm tonight. Dinesh R Honaje, a college student, was among the several people who registered for the welcome kit.
“I am a Maggi lover, and after it has passed various tests, I find no reason to not to trust the noodles,” he said. However, a few people, particularly mothers, still seemed reluctant to buy the product due to the earlier ban.
Once bitten, twice shy
Post the Maggi crisis, which cost Nestle India R450 crore, managing director, Suresh Narayanan said the company will diversify its product portfolio and also focus on dairy, coffee and beverages as well as chocolates and confectionery, in order to avoid over-dependence on a single product.
The state Food and Drug Administration commissioner Harshdeep Kamble was unreachable, but mid-day asked the joint commissioner (food), Suresh Annapure, whether the food safety watchdog will check samples of the stock being sold online.
He responded saying, “I have been out of town and will be coming back after a week. As of now, I don’t know about the online sales and how this was allowed. As soon as I am back, I will review the situation and decide the plan of action.”
Nilima Salunkhe, mother of one
In matters of health and safety, even a potential hazard must be avoided. So whether Maggi is banned or not, I am certainly not going to offer it to my kids because it was hard to change get them to move from the tempting noodles to homemade healthy Indian food.
Jyoti Pandey, mother of one
I have been eating Maggi since childhood and have been loyal to the brand, but as of now, I would not serve it to my child. Only after I hear reviews declaring it safe to eat, will I allow my child to have it.
K Vijalakshmi, mother of one
Better avoid something that has been doubted once. Noodles are not good for health, as they contain maida. The food authorities had found high amounts of lead in it, hence, I would not want my daughter to have it.
Mrudula Katdare, mother of two
As long as Maggi has cleared all the FDA-mandated tests, I don’t mind buying and serving it to my children. One cannot forget that the brand has served us all since childhood.