energy drinks: FSSAI tells ecommerce companies to stop using the term ‘health drink or energy drink’ for malt based drinks

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has directed all ecommerce companies to not to refer to dairy based beverages, cereal based beverages or malt based beverages as ‘health drink or energy drink’ as the term ‘health drink’ has not been defined uder the food laws of the country and ‘energy drink’ refers to carbonated and non-carbonated water based flavoured drinks under the laws.

The usage of incorrect terms can be “misleading” For consumers therefore, “FSSAI has advised all e-commerce FBOs to promptly rectify this misclassification by removing or de-linking such drinks or beverages from the category of ‘Health Drinks / Energy Drinks, ” the food regulator said in a statement.

FSSAI has clarified that the term ‘Health Drink’ is not defined or standardized anywhere under the FSS Act 2006 or rules or regulations, which govern the food industry.

The term – ‘Energy’ Drinks – is permitted to be used only on the products such as carbonated and non-carbonated water based flavoured drinks.

ET had reported on February 8 that FSSAI is planning for stricter norms for caffeine energy drinks as their sales soar.

“This corrective action aims to enhance clarity and transparency regarding the nature and functional properties of the products, ensuring that consumers can make well-informed choices without encountering misleading information, ” the statement added. Companies such as PepsiCo, Coca-Cola and Hell are selling energy drinks at about one-fourth of the price of global category leaders such as Red Bull and Monster, and have also massified them by selling these at grocery stores. And energy drink sales are growing 50-55% a year, company executives said citing data from researcher NielsenIQ.However, their rising consumption particularly among youngsters is a matter of concern as studies suggest potential impact on health from excessive consumption.