In the first media briefing after pulling Maggi off the shelves, Nestle Global CEO Paul Bulcke maintained that Maggi noodles are safe for consumption.
He said Maggi has temporarily decided to pull the product off the shelves in the country in view of the recent developments and concerns around the product, which have led to an environment of confusion. He said restoring consumer trust was the company’s priority.
Bulcke, said: “The trust of our consumers and the safety and quality of our products is our foremost priority everywhere in the world. Unfortunately, recent developments and growing concerns about the product have led to confusion for the consumer to such an extent that we have decided to take the product temporarily off the shelves, in spite the product being safe.”
He said the company is confident about the product as it uses the same standards of testing across the globe and its extensive internal and independent tests in India have proven that Maggi noodles are safe for consumption.
He said the company is now working to engage with all the stakeholders and clarify the confusion and have the product back on the shelves as soon as possible.
The company has been facing criticism for being silent in its communication over the past two weeks, which has largely been focused on digital and social media.
Asked what took Nestle so long to respond he said, “we had been in intensive discussion with the local and the national authorities to clarify and show our intensive results. We don't yet have notifications or the test results of the various authorities," he said.
Asked about Nestle India's shares sliding and the business loss to the company due to the recall, Bulcke said their first priority was the trust of the consumer.
"Yes, the shares are down but our main concern at this stage is consumer trust. That's our first priority," he said, adding that no reports of samples being tested by the states had been shared with the company so far.
Nestle India officials also said it was too early to elaborate on how many packets or batches of the products will be recalled since the announcement was made early on Friday morning .