Consumers and Retailers Warned about Counterfeit Food Products from India


FLUSHING, NY: Because of a huge influx of unauthorized food and other products from India, US retailers and consumers alike are being warned to be especially vigilant when purchasing products from the country.

More than half of all the snack products that were tested and then blocked from sale in the US in 2015 were from India, according to a recent Wall Street Journal report. Last year more food products from India were rejected in the US than from any other country. Indian products also led the world in snack rejects in 2014.

House of Spices India, Inc. (HOS), a distributor of quality Indian ingredients, snacks and sweets, is driving efforts to educate consumers and retailers alike to help reduce and eventually eliminate Illegal imports of products only meant for sale in India.

House of Spices India, Inc. is the sole exclusive distributor for Nestlé India’s Maggi Noodles and ITC’s Aashirvaad Atta products in the US market. According to a Nestlé USA statement, the company said it can only guarantee “this level of quality when products are purchased from authorized distributors like House of Spices.”

HOS also remains committed to bringing consumers the highest quality of Indian ingredients and products available and assuring the company’s customers that its products receive US FDA approval. “It’s why we ensure all products sold by House of Spices have our name on it. Customers do not realize that flours and noodles sold by us versus what is sold by others are different. We work with the brands in India to make sure the formulas, labels and ingredients all meet the United States FDA standards, standards which are much higher than the Indian FSSIA,” said Amrapali Soni, VP of House of Spices.

According to the Wall Street Journal, problems with products that have been rejected from India “vary from packaging and labeling to alleged contamination.”

Nestlé USA said, “the sale of any Nestlé-imported products that bypass Nestlé USA via our authorized distributors violates federal and state laws of the United States and may subject your company to financial liability.”

ITC named HOS as is its “sole distributor” in the US, and said, “no other (distributor is) authorized and/or supplied by ITC for this brand for sales in the US.”

Unfortunately,unscrupulous dealers and unlicensed third parties are legally distributing and exporting branded products without the knowledge and consent of authorized manufacturers—a practice known as a grey market. ITC said, not only do these actions put consumers at risk; they also willfully and criminally prevent traceability of a particular batch should quality issues arise.

To prevent counterfeiting efforts and reassure retailers, ITC packaging supplied in India now carries an indelible print that states, “Do not purchase package if punctured, torn or tampered and/or with stickers over areas containing statutory information. This package is NOT INTENDED FOR SALE OUTSIDE INDIA.”

ITC said products are currently being tampered with via packaging and labeling, by either erasing the online printed batch numbers and production dates, and/or affixing stickers with fictitious information covering important labeling information to make it appear compliant with US labeling requirements.

All the companies involved have promised that offending suppliers and retailers will face serious legal consequences and financial ramifications. Those interested can visit for information on the US FDA-approved items distributed by House of Spices India, Inc.

Any additional questions or comments can be addressed by emailing