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Horlicks rebranded as 'Functional Nutritional Drink' after dropping 'Health' label

Horlicks has been rebranded as a 'Functional Nutritional Drink' by Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) in response to regulatory changes in India. Learn about the Ministry of Commerce and Industry's directive and the implications for e-commerce platforms.

Written By: Rahul Pratyush New Delhi Published on: April 25, 2024 18:47 IST
Image Source : GOOGLE Horlicks rebranded as 'Functional Nutritional Drink' after dropping 'Health' label

In a recent move, Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL), the company behind Horlicks, has dropped the ‘health’ label and rebranded the drink as a ‘Functional Nutritional Drink.’ This move comes in response to recent regulatory changes in India regarding the marketing of beverages like Horlicks and Boost.

This change comes on the heels of a directive from the Indian Ministry of Commerce and Industry. The Ministry instructed e-commerce platforms to remove drinks and beverages from the ‘healthy drinks’ category, citing concerns about their sugar content exceeding recommended limits

HUL's Chief Financial Officer, Ritesh Tiwari, explained the rebranding as a move towards greater accuracy. ‘FND’ is seen as a more apt description for these drinks, which often contain essential vitamins and minerals alongside the sugar. He said, “We have changed the labels of the category to FND which is a much better way to call it.” Tiwari also sees this as an opportunity, highlighting the potential for growth in the under-penetrated FND market. 

E-commerce platforms were advised by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry not to categorise Cadbury Bournvita and similar beverages as 'health drinks' because the Food Safety and Standards Act does not include a specific category for such drinks.

‘Health drinks’ are not defined in the Food Safety and Standards Act (FSS Act) 2006, according to the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights.

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) urged e-commerce websites not to label dairy, cereal, or malt-based beverages as 'health drinks' or 'energy drinks' as it could be misleading for customers and does not accurately represent the products.

"National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), a statutory body constituted under Section (3) of the Commission of Protection of Child Rights (CPCR) Act, 2005 after its inquiry under Section 14 of CRPC Act 2005 concluded that there is no 'health drink' defined under FSS Act 2006, rules and regulations submitted by FSSAI and Mondelez India Food Pvt Ltd," the ministry said in a notification, dated April 10.


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