The Nestle Controversy: Why Is Nestle Again In Trouble In India?

Nestle controversy

Last month we discussed a long list of Nestle company crimes and received great appreciation from our readers. And here we are presenting another latest Nestle controversy in India. What’s that, you ask? Look at the headline revolving around the media-

Nestle adds sugar to baby cereal sold in India but not in Europe & UK…

This shocking revelation is enough to prove why Nestle is one of the most hated companies… And that too despite having a diverse portfolio of products. See, being popular is one thing, and being unethical & discriminatory is another thing.

Nestle controversy

We, Indians aren’t the sole victims of Nestle crimes.

Shockingly, versions in Ethiopia have over 5g per serving, and in Thailand, it’s even higher at 6g! Discrepancies raise questions about global standards.

In this article, we will dive down on the ongoing Nestle controversy to find out why is it again in trouble in India. Stay tuned!

(A) Latest Nestle Controversy: Understanding the issue

Nestle, a huge company famous for its baby food, has been caught red-handed for adding sugar to the milk it sells for babies in countries like India, where people may not be as wealthy.

But guess what? They don’t do that in fancy places like Europe or the UK. How do we know? Well, a group called “Public Eye” and another called IBFAN (International Baby Food Action Network) played a key role in this saga. They sent Nestle cereal samples from all over the world- Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Europe to a lab in Belgium to get to the bottom of things. 

And the results are jaw-dropping!

Now, let’s talk about India. Nestle made a whopping $250 million in sales there in 2022 alone! Shocking fact? Every single type of Cerelac baby cereal they sell in India has extra sugar i.e. about 3 grams in each serving. But here’s the twist- in countries like Germany, France, and the UK, the same Cerelac cereal for six-month-old babies is sugar-free! 

Can you believe it? 

But hold on, it gets even crazier. In places like Ethiopia and Thailand, the sugar content skyrockets to more than 5 or 6 grams per serving! 

Look at the table given below that represents the sugar content of the same Cerelac wheat product in different countries. Also, if you are wondering how much a gram of sugar means then let me tell you that a sugar cube or a teaspoon is approx. 4 grams.

CountrySugar Content
(Gram per portion)
South Africa4
Sugar Content in Cerelac in Different Countries

That’s a massive difference depending on where you live, right? It’s like Nestle has double standards depending on where they’re selling their stuff…

(B) How does the high sugar content in Infant Nestle Products harm babies?

Nestle Cerelac Controversy

Suppose you are feeding Nestle Cerelac to your little one by thinking you are offering super-healthy food to aid his/her growth. But little do you know, it’s packed with sugar.

The revelation of this fact is no less than a thunderbolt for a parent! Reason?

The World Health Organization (WHO) warns that introducing sugar to babies too early can set them up for a lifetime of craving sweets. Ultimately, this can lead to them overeating and gaining too much weight. And let’s not forget the long-term health risks—obesity, diabetes, and who knows what else could be lurking around the corner.

In 2022, WHO put their foot down and said, “No more sugar for babies!” They called for a ban on adding extra sugar and sweeteners to baby food, urging companies to step up and prioritize public health by giving their products a healthy makeover.

So, next time you reach for that jar of Nestle baby food, think twice. That extra sugar might seem harmless, but it could be setting your baby up for a lifetime of health problems. Let’s give the little ones of our nation the best start in life by keeping the sugar at bay!

(C) Nestle’s Double Standards Behavior

Nestle’s behavior seems like a classic case of “do as I say, not as I do.” Nigel Rollins a scientist at WHO, conveyed to “Public Eye” and IBFAN that there’s a clear double standard behavior in Nestle. 

He’s not wrong… 

Nestle is serving up sugar-free goods in rich countries like Switzerland, the UK, Germany, etc. but loading them up with the sweet stuff in poorer countries. It’s like they’re playing by one set of rules at home and another when they’re out in the world.

What’s really eyebrow-raising is Nestle’s own advice on their website. They tell parents to avoid adding sugar when feeding their little ones and to be wary of fruit juices because of their high sugar content. They even say to check labels for added sugars. 

But guess what? 

This advice doesn’t seem to apply to their own products sold in less wealthy countries. It’s like they’re preaching one thing and doing the opposite.

So, what’s the big deal? 

Well, just like we told you in the introductory paragraph, it’s not just about sugar. It’s about ethics and public health. By dishing out sugar-packed products to vulnerable communities, Nestle is playing a risky game with people’s health. It’s time for Nestle to practice what they preach and put people’s well-being before profits.

(D) Domino Effect: Nestle India’s Stock Price Plummeted

Nestle Stock Price Plunge

Nestle India’s stock price has hit a rough patch, taking a nosedive below its 100-day Simple Moving Average. On Thursday morning, it was hanging out at Rs.2526.2, marking a drop of -0.78%. The 100-day SMA (Simple Moving Average) sits at Rs.2532.78, hinting at a possible change in the stock’s direction. It’s like a domino effect—the stock takes a hit, investors get anxious, and the whole market feels the ripple. Keep an eye on those numbers because they could signal bigger changes on the horizon.

(E) Govt’s Investigation into the Nestle Controversy

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is diving headfirst into the controversy surrounding Nestle’s Cerelac products. They’ve kicked off an inquiry to get to the bottom of the sugar saga.

FSSAI isn’t messing around—they’ve promised to leave no stone unturned in their investigation. If Nestle is caught with their hand in the sugar jar, FSSAI is ready to take strict action on the brand. A special committee will be formed to dig deep into the details and uncover the truth.

(F) Nestle’s Response to the Ongoing Controversy

Nestle Cerelac healthy baby

Nestle has finally broken its silence amidst its sugar controversy. While they dodged questions from Public Eye and IBFAN about their alleged double standard, they did make some key points clear.

First off, Nestle claims to have made efforts to reduce the amount of added sugars in their baby cereal by a whopping 11% worldwide over the past decade. And they’re not stopping there—they’re on a mission to slash even more sugar without sacrificing the quality, safety, or taste of their products.

When it comes to their response to the government’s inquiries, Nestle is singing a similar tune. They’re standing firm on the nutritional integrity of their infant cereal, emphasizing that their products are packed with all the essential nutrients such as Protein, Carbohydrates, Vitamins, Minerals, Iron, etc. needed for healthy development.

But Nestle isn’t just talking the talk—they’re walking the walk. They’ve got their eyes on compliance, ensuring that their Indian-made products meet the strict standards set by CODEX (WHO + FAO). And they’re not afraid to show off their efforts, boasting a reduction of up to 30% in added sugars across their product range in the last five years.

In a nutshell, Nestle is doubling down on their commitment to providing top-notch nutrition while keeping an eye on sugar content. They’re not backing down, and they’re ready to prove that they’ve got what it takes to keep their customers healthy and satisfied.

(G) Wrap-Up

Nestle Controversy (excess sugar content)

If you want to dive deep into the crimes committed by Nestle, then don’t forget to go through the article-

6 Biggest Nestle Company Crimes & Surrounding Controversies

For now, everyone’s eyes are glued to the unfolding drama. Stakeholders, from consumers to investors, are watching closely, waiting for the investigation’s outcome. Will Nestle come out clean, or will they face the wrath of the Indian Govt. for messing with the health of our infants?

Only time will tell, but one thing’s for sure—the heat is on, and Nestle’s feeling the pressure!

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Published By: Supti Nandi
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Vidhi Rajouria
Vidhi Rajouria
1 month ago

Nestle products are very much famous in India, but never knew thought that the company is doing such a thing!