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Added sugars in Cerelac within limits, charges untrue: Nestle India CMD

Narayanan reiterated that according to FSSAI, the maximum permissible limit for added sugars is 13.6 gram per 100 gram of feed, while Nestle is at 7.1 gram of sugar per 100 gram

Suresh Narayanan

Suresh Narayanan, chairman and managing director Nestle India

Akshara Srivastava New Delhi

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Packaged foods company Nestle India on Monday said the formulation of infant food products like Cerelac was done on the basis of global norms and sugars added to the product were within the limits set by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).

“Every formulation of the company is done on a global basis. There is no local approach to making a nutritional adequacy study, it is done globally,” said Suresh Narayanan, chairman and managing director, Nestle India.

These formulations, he said, are developed keeping in mind four parameters: The level of carbohydrates and energy, protein, fats, and vitamins and minerals.

Narayanan said according to the FSSAI, the maximum permissible limit for added sugars was 13.6 gm per 100 gm of feed, while Nestle’s was at 7.1 gm of sugar per 100 gm.

The company, he added, has reduced added sugars in the product by up to 30 per cent in the past five years and would continue to reduce them.

“There is no distinction done between a child in Europe and a child in India or any other part of the world,” he said, adding that Cerelac variants with added sugars were also available in Europe.

“The allegation, which it is racially stereotyped, is unfortunate but untrue,” he further said.


Narayanan was referring to the allegations of Nestle adding sugar and honey to its infant milk and cereal range sold in low- and middle-income countries, made by Swiss NGO Public Eye.

Talking about the March quarter, Narayanan said the company delivered a strong performance along with an overall growth rate of 9.3 per cent with a volume growth of 4-5 per cent.

The maker of Kitkat chocolates and Maggi noodles will focus on volume-led growth, he said.

“My objective is to pace up on volume growth. Between 2016-17 and 2022, we had a volume growth rate of 8-9 per cent …,” he said while adding that the company would now focus on ramping up distribution to drive penetration in the more than 200,000 villages it now covered. The company aims to increase its total retail outlets from 5.1 million currently to 6 million over the next four-five years to drive this growth.

“The future of consumer goods companies will rest on their capability to penetrate more households with more products and more occasions of usage,” he said.

Expressing concern over the runaway inflation in cocoa and coffee, he said the company was “trying to avoid as best as possible a price increase”.

Talking about the joint venture with Dr Reddy’s, Narayanan said: “The nutraceutical business is a Rs 45-50 crore one for us. We are looking at doubling or tripling that business over the next four to five years.”

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First Published: Apr 29 2024 | 9:18 PM IST

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