Marketing and advertisement play a key role in the consumer purchase decision of a product. The concerned teams in these department work tremendously on the product presentation to influence the consumer perceptions. In this context, many pre-packed goods come up with claims attributing to its safety and quality. Subsequently, such marketing practices have created popular fallacies among the consumers. which was evident since decades. However, there is an increasing trend of informed judgment in light of rising awareness of end user.
Need & procedure for obtaining food license in India
Like any business to takeoff food business too require licenses or approvals from various government agencies in India and the prominent one for food business is FSSAI license. It is mandate for food business to obtain food license prior to the operations and the same was ratified in the act, rules and regulations i.e. per 2.1.2 of FSS licensing regulations, no person shall commence any food business unless he possesses a valid license.
- Declare products are safe for human consumption
- Undertake the responsibility for safety of the product
- Guarantee compliance to the rules, regulations (incl. standards)
Importance of self-regulation - As per IBEF the Indian food industry, this is currently valued at US$ 39.71 billion and is expected to grow at a Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 11 percent to US$65.4 billion by 2018. As a result not even an estimate figure can be deduced in the number of food business units in India. Hence, off-loading the burden of 1.3 billon meals per day (Average 1 meal a day) to FSSAI is not level playing and rather it should be a joint responsibility of all the stakeholders in the ecosystem.
Basis the new regulations, it is crystallized that FSSAI license cannot be misused by the manufacture for demonstrating the safety or approval* status of the product. Hence it is recommended for the food businesses to withdraw such claims in on the websites, advertisement contents etc., as a preventive measure before FSSAI finalizing these changes.
In conclusion, it is unfortunate that only few players started advertising or marketing with words “FSSAI Approved” “Endorsed by FSSAI” “FSSAI Certified” etc., and the rest is a cliché
*Approval/ NOC issued by FSSAI product approval division is not considered in the blog