Why FMCG Companies Need to Address Consumer Concerns!
News Mobile, June 30, 2016
By Udai Mehta and Kanika Balani
The growing unrest among consumers abroad, over the safety of personal care
products, has raised concerns about the safety of such products in India as well.
Series of cases of death and injury filed against the Johnson & Johnson (J&J)
Company in the US and Reckitt Benckiser in South Korea, brings to light the
associated risks to Indian consumers, given the global nature of markets, which
cuts across boundaries. Moreover, the risk is not just limited to the personal care
products, but is prevalent in the whole of FMCG industry, as was witnessed in the
case of Maggi noodles, quite recently. Owing to the huge market size of FMCG
products in India ($13.1 Billion), there is a need to raise the alarm bells in the
minds of Indian consumers and government machinery. Thus, the question one
needs an answers i.e.as to how safe are Indian consumers and how effective is our
consumer protection machinery?
In the wake of recent verdict by a US court against the J&J Company, the
Maharashtra Food & Drug Administration (FDA) collected baby powder samples
of J&J and other talcum powder brands for testing from across the state to check if
they follow the rules laid down under the Drugs and Cosmetic Act, 1940. The
Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is yet another regulator,
which has been pro-active in issuing product recall orders to companies. Apart
from the Nestle Maggi recall order, the list includes products of Amway India
Enterprises, Energy Drinks such as Monster Energy Drink, Cloud 9, Tzinga, and
Jagdale Industries’ Mulmin drops and capsules.
These facts might create a Samaritan like imagery of the Indian regulators. To
further add to this imagery, the elaborate mechanisms for consumer grievance
redressal have also been established, under various statues. A three tier quasi-
judicial system of consumer dispute redressal, set up under the Consumer
Protection Act, along with several provisions to impose penalties on the offenders
under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act and Food Safety and Standards
could be referred as the systems of resort for the Indian consumers.