Ayurvedic instant noodles may sound like an oxymoron, but popular yoga guru Baba Ramdev's consumer products company Patanjali Ayurved seems to take as little time to be mired in controversy as instant noodles take to cook.
Launched at a time when Nestle's flagship Maggi noodles had been banned, Ramdev's noodles first ran into trouble with the Food Safety and Standards authority of India stating that the product hadn't been approved of for sales. Patanjali Ayurved was reportedly sent a show-cause notice by the FSSAI.
Now, just over a month after the launch of the noodles, a News18 report from Haryana claims that worms have been found in a packet by a man named Vinod Kumar Narwana.
"I had gone to purchase half kg of ghee from the shop. However, I bought a packet of atta noodles apart from desi ghee and biscuits as I thought the noodles were healthy. When I cooked the noodles the next day, I found dead worms. When I looked inside the packet which still had some noodles left, there were some worms inside as well," Narwana told Business Today.
The company may need some high-impact advertising to battle this image problem. Reports say that its products were the third-most advertised this year, after Cadbury and Fair & Lovely. A report in Mint says that Patanjali Ayurved spent as much as Rs 360 crore on advertising between November and March this year.
The company has, of course, dismissed the allegation of worms, saying they are "fabricated." But perhaps it should stop asking in its commercial: "Iss noodle mein kya hai?" "What's in these noodles?"