Maggi is the main international culinary brand in the Nestle portfolio, and #2 in the worldwide sector to Unilever's Knorr. It is one of the company's strategic global brands, distributed in around 60 countries worldwide, although it is strongest in its heartland of continental Europe, especially Germany, where it regularly features as the country's most trusted food brand. Another key market is India, where Maggi instant noodles enjoyed enormous popularity until unproven allegations of lead contamination prompted Nestle to recall all supplies temporarily pending an investigation.
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Adbrands Weekly Update 11th Jun 2015: Nestle's operations in India have suffered a serious blow as a result of a ban by local food safety regulators on its enormously popular Maggi instant noodles following allegations of lead contamination. Nestle vehemently denies the accusations, but has withdrawn all Maggi products from sale pending a full investigation. The company says it has been unable to find any lead traces in its own selection of samples, and contends that the products tested by regulators were accidentally contaminated after opening through poor handling. Ironically the issue only arose because Nestle appealed against an earlier complaint from regulators about misleading claims on Maggi packaging relating to MSG. The supposed lead contamination was only discovered when the original noodles sample was retested. The Maggi culinary brand is the company's most valuable by far in India, accounting for around 30% of local sales, or over $600m. Instant noodles account for the bulk of that, as much as $450m. The Indian government is also now seeking damages from the Swiss food giant over the case, which also threatens to dent consumer trust in the company's other products. Media coverage has shown angry customers burning piles of noodles in anger over the possible harm to their health. However, Nestle's case has received moral support from Singapore's food safety watchdog which found no contamination in samples of Maggi noodles imported from India.
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