Bournvita Controversy Erupts Over Nutrient Claims
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Bournvita Controversy Erupts Over Nutrient Claims

Brand controversies have become a common occurrence in recent years, including Amul’s ‘Wuhan Se Yahaan’, FabIndia’s ‘Jashn-e-Riwaaz’ , Dabur’s Karwa Chauth advertisement and many more with recent Mondelez’s health drink brand Bournvita being the latest addition to the list. BW Businessworld has tried to gather all the information in one place to help its readers understand the situation better.

How did It start?
Recently, nutritionist Revant Himatsingka posted a video on his Instagram account where he reviewed a well-known household name Cadubury’s Bournvita, and he criticised Cadbury’s Bournvita for marketing itself as nutrient-rich despite containing added sugars. The video went viral, attracting the attention of many, including actor Paresh Rawal and former cricketer Kirti Azad.

What Did Bournvita Say?
After the video went viral, Bournvita issued a clarification about the product on their social media handles.

“Bournvita contains nutrients namely vitamins A, C, D, Iron, Zinc, Copper and Selenium which help build immunity. These have been part of our formulation for several years, the brand said in the social media post earlier,” the post read

Every serving of Bournvita has 7.5 grams of added sugar, which is approximately one and a half teaspoons. This is much less than the daily recommended intake limits of sugar for children, it added.

“Over the last seven decades, Bournvita has earned the trust of consumers in India by being a scientifically formulated product that adheres to the highest quality standards and complies with all the laws of the land. That is why we were concerned by a recent unscientific video on social media that went abnormally viral, distorted facts and made false and negative inferences about Bournvita’s safety and efficacy,” the company’s official statement said.

Furthermore, the statement said that comments made by the influencer are not based on science and were designed to drive anxiety and fear among its loyal consumers by misrepresenting the facts and omitting factually correct information to sensationalise his views.

“We would again like to reinforce that the formulation has been scientifically crafted by a team of nutritionists and food scientists to offer the best of taste and health. All our claims are verified and transparent and all ingredients have regulatory approvals. All the necessary nutritional information is mentioned on the pack for consumers to make informed choices,” it stated.

Where It Went?
The company also sent a legal notice to Himatsingka, after which he removed the video and issued an apology on his Instagram handle.

“I have decided to take down the video across all platforms after receiving a legal notice from one of India’s biggest law firms on 13 April 2023,” he said.

Further, the influencer apologised to Cadbury for making the video and requested not to take this issue forward legally.

“I did not plan or intend to infringe any trademark or defame any company nor do I have the interest or resources to participate in any court cases and I request MNCs to not take this forward legally,” he said.

The company said the video has created panic and anxiety and questions the trust that consumers have bestowed on brands like Bournvita.

“As we continued to witness an abnormal and unusual amount of traction on the post, we were constrained to take legal recourse to avoid misinformation. We also issued a statement to clarify and share the correct facts to allay the concerns of our consumers. We would like to clarify that we had no play in actions around the presenter’s Twitter account,” it said.

The Debate
This has sparked a debate on social media about whether early addiction to added sugars can make children more prone to diabetes in adulthood.

Also, what will happen to the other brands that are available in the market that claim to be healthy including sugary fruit drinks, breakfast cereals, healthy snacks and many more as the consumers are becoming more informative and choosing other new options over the traditional brands?

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