We often encounter videos and WhatsApp messages of Kurkure containing plastic. While rumours regarding the popular snack does the round on social media, Pepsico India Holdings Private Ltd is taking steps to guarantee consumers about the safety of the product.
"I don't know on what grounds the rumour is spread that Kurkure contains plastic. Normally big brands attract malicious rumours," said Vani Gupta, Marketing Director - Indian Snacks. "We don't see such malicious campaign in other parts of India. Only in Tamil Nadu we see such malicious campaigns," Gupta said.
Some months back the associations of traders in Tamil Nadu had announced a ban on selling Pepsi and Coca cola brands. Gupta said the company is taking counter measures in assuring the safety of Kurkure to mothers. According to her, it is better to assure the consumers about the safety rather than taking legal recourse against the rumour mongers.
One of the steps is redesigning of the package with the words 'Made with Dal, Corn and Rice' printed on it. "In case of chips we know what it is made of. But it is not so with Kurkure. Hence we decided to adopt this strategy," Gupta said. Pepsico Holdings held an event where bloggers - mostly young women - were told about Kurkure and the production process.
With the assistance of an award winning chef, the participants also whipped up some dishes made with several variants of Kurkure. Gupta said: "Any food that is taken in moderate quantity is good. The problem crops up when one overdoes something." Queried about the usage of palmolein oil in the making of the product instead of other oils like rice bran oil, Gupta said: "The oil suits well with the product. The usage of palmolein oil is not driven by costs."
"Many of our competitors play with the ingredient quantities when the prices fluctuate," she added. "Even at home it is advisable to change the oil brands once in two months so as to derive the benefits offered by them. In the case of Kurkure the oil quantity used may not be much. Only children above the age of five should be given salty snacks. All food stuffs should be consumed in moderate quantities," said T. Shanthi Kaavery, a consulting dietician.
Increasing from one variant in 1999, today Kurkure has 40 variants. The snack which also comes in different regional flavours is widely popular among children.
(With IANS inputs)