Backed by the Bombay High Court decision, Nestle India has started to make logistical arrangement to resume exports of Maggi noodles, the company said.

The company also said that it has got a clean chit from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). The CFIA did not find any health risk associated with the consumption of Maggi brand noodle products sold in that country.

This came on the heels of the company getting a stamp of approval from UK’s Food Standards Agency, which said that it had found levels of lead in the instant noodle brand within the EU’s permissible limits. Nestle India said that the noodles made for the export market are produced on the same manufacturing lines as those for the Indian market.

“We use the same recipes and raw materials as we use for domestic markets, but Canada requires a different kind of salt to be used. Packaging materials are designed to meet the regulatory requirements of each importing country. The logistical arrangements to resume exports have begun after the June 30 decision by the Bombay High Court which clarified that the export of Maggi noodles could continue,” Nestle India’s statement added.

Meanwhile, with three instant-noodles brand now off the shelves, the ₹3,000-crore instant noodles category is already seeing a drop in sales of about 20-25 per cent. Experts believe it may take months before the customer’s confidence is restored in the category.

Arvind Singhal, Chairman, Technopak Advisors, said that the instant noodles category is not witnessing any growth at the moment.

“But, the attractiveness of the category is still there. Instant noodle products are convenient to make for consumers and can be customised, there is no alternative for that,” he said, adding once companies become compliant and re-launch, consumers are likely to come back to the category.

Brand experts like Harish Bijoor believe it may take about five to six months for sales of the category to bounce back and for companies to come back with FSSAI-approved products.

A senior executive with another instant noodle brand said they have not seen any incremental increase in sales as the confidence of the customer on the entire instant noodles category has been shaken.

Retailers like Reliance Retail had already removed all instant noodles brands from their shelves early last month.

Smaller players are now following suit.

Aman Mittal, COO, Savemax, said: “We have decided to remove all the instant noodles brands from our supermarkets as a precaution and we have asked companies to submit their FSSAI approvals. It is a sales loss, but we have to take it.”

Nalin Khanna, CEO of brand value advisory-Vertebrand said, “With more brands withdrawing in this category, this is going to make the consumer more anxious. The longer these companies remain off the shelves, the longer it may take for consumers to get re-assured and start buying. Companies will need to take massive PR exercise with their re-launched products.”