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HUL rebrands 'health food drinks' as 'functional nutrition drinks'

The FMCG brand will add on-pack nutrition details to aid consumer in making informed choices.

Hindustan Unilever (HUL), the parent company of renowned brands such as Horlicks and Boost, has revamped its 'health food drinks' category to 'functional nutrition drinks', as reported by Business Today. This shift comes amidst increased scrutiny over claims of 'healthiness,' particularly concerning sugar content in many such products.

A few days back, The Ministry of Commerce and Industry released an advisory for e-commerce companies, instructing them to eliminate all beverages from the 'health drinks' category on their portals and platforms.

During the earnings press conference on April 24, Ritesh Tiwari, chief financial officer of Hindustan Unilever, announced the alteration. Tiwari stressed the importance of the shift to the 'Functional Nutrition Drinks' label, citing its accuracy and transparency in describing the category. He also underscored the untapped potential of the FND market, hinting at substantial growth opportunities ahead.

The FMCG brand stated its commitment to enhancing benefits and nutritional information on packaging, aiming to empower consumers in making informed decisions regarding their food and beverage intake.

According to HUL, "Horlicks is a generational product with a strong brand recall. The focus remains on reinforcing relevance." In the March quarter, Horlicks and Boost propelled growth for HUL, driven by a favourable blend of pricing and volume expansion. Horlicks achieved a turnover surpassing Rs 2,000 crore, while Boost is poised to enter the Rs 1,000-crore league.

Rohit Jawa, CEO and MD of HUL, emphasised that Horlicks and Boost contain the least amount of added sugar compared to other brands. The management clarified that HUL's adult nutrition range is sugar-free, while products aimed at children contain some sugar, aligning with both local and Unilever standards to enhance palatability. As per the management, the 'functional nutrition drinks' category addresses community needs by providing protein and micronutrients.

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