Five months after Nestle's popular brand of instant noodles Maggi was banned in India for containing excessive quantities of lead, the company on Monday resumed sales across the country, barring eight states.
The states where Maggi will not be available for now are Bihar, Odisha, Manipur, Nagaland, Tripura, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. The Swiss consumer goods group said it is "engaging" with these states to get the required clearances.
Nestlé India has also tied up with "Snapdeal" to roll out online offers to mark the commencement of sale of Maggi noodles.
The relaunch will take place in a phased manner, and at present Maggi is back on shelves in 100 cities and towns with over 300 stockists.
The company will gear up advertising campaigns in the coming few months, reported The Times of India.
Suresh Narayanan, Chairman and Managing Director of Nestlé India, told TOI, "We have to clear doubts in the consumers' minds. It is not going to be a cakewalk for us. Before the ban, we were present in around 4 million retailers. It will take us some time to reach there. We want to give our consumers the same Maggi. We don't want to be seen as a company that tweaked anything. That would make people ask whether there was anything wrong in the first place."
The company has also roped in Bollywood lyricist and advertising veteran Prasoon Joshi and his team at McCann India for corporate projects, adds the report.
MAGGI Noodles is presently being manufactured at three locations, at Nanjangud (Karnataka), Moga (Punjab) and Bicholim (Goa). For the other two locations at Tahliwal and Pantnagar, we are engaging with the relevant authorities to obtain directions to commence manufacture, the company said.
According to a report in The Financial Times, "Nestle India reported a net loss of Rs 644m ($10m) for the quarter ending in June, its first loss in at least 15 years, after the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India banned the production and sale of Maggi noodles due to allegations the product contained dangerously high levels of lead. The company said sales had fallen 20 per cent year on year because of the Maggi noodle ban."
The company destroyed an estimated 350m tonnes of Maggi noodles, "at a cost of Rs 4.5bn, during the quarter", the report added.