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Horlicks, Boost drop 'health' from their labels

Horlicks, Boost drop health from their labels

New Delhi: Popular brands Horlicks and Boost, owned by Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL), dropped the word 'health' from their label and repositioned themselves as "Functional and Nutritional drinks", NDTV reported.

HUL took the decision after the Ministry of Commerce and Industry directed e-commerce websites to remove all drinks and beverages from the 'health' category on their sites and noted that the sugar content in all these drinks is beyond acceptable limits.

HUL submitted a regulatory filing in which it informed us that there is a 1.53 per cent decline in consolidated net profit to Rs 2,561 crore for the fourth quarter of FY24.

In the filing, it said, "Functional nutritional drinks (Horlicks & Boost) delivered high single-digit growth, driven by Plus range. Tea continued to strengthen value and volume market leadership," NDTV quoted.

In a notification issued on April 10, the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry said, "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 (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) and Mondelez India Food Pvt Ltd."

The FSSAI says that 'health drink' is defined in India's food laws, and projecting something under the same rules violates them. The food regulatory body also instructed e-commerce portals against labelling diary-based or malt-based beverages as 'health drinks'.

The chain of events on the issue started last year after the NCPCR asked Bournvita to remove "misleading" advertisements, packing, and labels. This was after a video by influencer Revant Himatsingka, aka FoodPharmer, highlighted the high sugar content in Bournvita, owned by Cadbury, in a video, which went viral and incited severe criticism.

Following this, the NCPCR asked the FSSAI to act against companies that label supplements' health drinks' and violate guidelines.

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