Clipped from: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/cons-products/food/suspected-honey-brands-such-as-dabur-patanjali-emami-set-to-escalate-advertising-to-allay-consumer-fears/articleshow/79568280.cmsSynopsis
Honey brands under scrutiny are ready to escalate advertising with increased, new campaigns on mainstream and social media to allay consumer fears, after Centre for Science and Environment said in a report that these brands are adulterated with sugar syrup.
New Delhi: Honey brands under scrutiny including DaburNSE 0.16 %, Patanjali and Emami’s Zandu have swung into damage control mode and are escalating advertising with increased and new campaigns on mainstream and social media to allay consumer fears, after research and advocacy firm Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) said in a report on Wednesday that these brands are adulterated with sugar syrup.
Dabur, which leads the approximately Rs 1800-crore organised honey market, has posted detailed information, including lab reports across all its social media handles including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, “that its honey is compliant on 22 FSSAI tests and that it has the first NMR machine in India to ensure purity”. Similar ads have been released in mainstream media and the company is working on fresh consumer communication.
Patanjali Ayurved too is stepping up on the advertising. “We are preparing a series of campaigns to reinforce to consumers the benefits of natural, ayurveda honey,” Patanjali spokesperson SK Tijarawala said. “The communication will be across all media and points of sale to reassure consumers that Patanjali honey has tested pure on more than hundred standards laid down by FSSAI,” he added.
CSE had said in a report on Wednesday that ten brands of honey including Dabur, Patanjali, Baidyanath, Zandu, Hitkari and Apis Himalaya are adulterated with sugar syrup and failed a nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) test. The CSE report has been denied by the brands.
“We are committed to consumers to communicate all relevant information about the brand’s quality standards and purity,” a spokesperson for Emami, which sells honey under the Zandu franchise, said. She added that Zandu Honey conforms and adheres to all protocols and quality standards laid down by the government.
Industry experts say despite the brands outright denying the CSE report findings, regaining consumer confidence could be a long haul. “The report has come as a surprise for consumers who trusted household names; it will take more than increasing advertising to reassure consumers and regain their trust,” said Lloyd Mathias, business strategist and seasoned marketer. “Consumers had adopted honey in a big way to build immunity during the pandemic,” Mathias added.
Almost all brands of honey have been posting high double digit growth over the past eight-nine months, with consumption soaring since the outbreak of the pandemic.
Three brands – Saffola, Markfed Sohna and Nature’s Nectar — which have been cleared in the CSE report, are also escalating advertising to leverage on the findings.
“We will continue to communicate attributes of Saffola Honey to consumers through television commercials, digital media, advertisements on e-commerce platforms and our own direct-to-consumer channel,” Marico India sales chief operating officer Sanjay Mishra said. The brand, which was launched in June, too has posted ads on its social media handles including Twitter and Facebook. “Every batch of Saffola Honey is tested using NMR Technology to ensure it is pure, free from adulteration and added sugar,” the ads say.
Amit Dhanuka, chief executive of Kejriwal Bee Care, which owns Nature’s Nectar honey and packages honey for Saffola, both of which have been cleared by CSE, also issued a statement that it maintains “complete traceability of honey with quality checks at every stage.”
Meanwhile CSE researchers met FSSAI officials on Friday to discuss findings of the report. CSE director general Sunita Narain said in a statement that investigations had revealed the honey adulteration business was “sophisticated and designed to bypass purity and quality standards laid down by the FSSAI”.