Must address govt, consumer queries fast in cyber era: Nestle
Vevey (Switzerland): Global food and beverage company Nestle said it is important to address concerns quickly in this era of social media and this has been a key learning from the 2015 Maggi crisis in India, said a top company official.
The company also said staying closely engaged with the local governments and the consumers is "super important" in the markets, adding that the strategy had worked in the Maggi noodles case of 2015.
"The slightest concern gets out on social media and internet, which builds up sentiments and beliefs very quickly," said Nestle Chief Executive Officer Mark Schneider.
He further added: "It is important in all times to be totally factually correct but it is also important to react early and quickly as you see sentiment building up..."
Recounting the Maggi crisis in India when the Nestle's popular product was banned for five months, Schneider said that there was "a wave of sentiment building against the product, at the time it was hurting us very strongly".
"One of the reasons why we recovered so quickly is that the product was found to be right and that was very important to us," he said on a media roundtable with the visiting journalists.
India is one of the "key markets" for the company, and Nestle India, which is listed on local exchanges, crossed the Rs 10,000-crore sales mark in 2017.
Maggi was banned by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) in June 2015 for five months for allegedly containing lead beyond permissible limits, forcing Nestle India to withdraw the product from the market. Following legal battles, the popular noodles brand was back in the market in November 2015.
Although Nestle India has regained its market dominance in the instant noodles segment with around 60 per cent market share, it is still away from the 75 per cent market share it used to have before the crisis. Currently, Maggi contributes around one-third of the total sales of Nestle India.