Maggi is an international brand of seasonings, instant soups and noodles owned by Nestlé since 1947. The original company was founded in Switzerland in 1872 by Julius Maggi.
The original company came into existence in 1875 in Switzerland, when Julius Maggi took over his father's mill. He quickly became a pioneer of industrial food production, aiming to improve the nutritional intake of worker families. Maggi was the first to bring protein-rich legume meal to the market, and followed up with a ready-made soup based on legume meal in 1886. In 1897, Julius Maggi founded the company Maggi GmbH in the German town of Singen, where it is still based today.
In 1947, following several changes in ownership and corporate structure, Maggi's holding company merged with the Nestlé company to form Nestlé-Alimentana S.A., currently known in its francophone homebase as Nestlé S.A.
In India and Malaysia, Maggi instant noodles were very popular; Nestle has 39% of the market in Malaysia, where "Maggi" is synonymous with instant noodles; and had a 90% share in India. In Malaysia, fried noodles made from Maggi noodles are called Maggi goreng. In June 2015, it was reported in India that tests had found high amounts of lead and MSG in Maggi noodles, and FSSAI ordered country-wide withdraw and recall for all 9 variants of Maggi Instant Noodles and Oats Masala Noodles.
In China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, Singapore, Pakistan, Mexico, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, German-speaking countries, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Poland and France, "Maggi" is still synonymous with the brand's Maggi-Würze (Maggi seasoning sauce), a dark, soy sauce-type hydrolysed vegetable protein-based condiment sauce. In Spain and Mexico, it is sold under the name Jugo Maggi. 
The bouillon cube or "Maggi cube", which was another meat substitute product, was introduced in 1908. Because chicken and beef broths are so common in the cuisines of many different countries, the company's products have a large worldwide market.
In West Africa and parts of the Middle East, Maggi cubes are used as part of the local cuisine. In Haiti, and throughout Latin America, Maggi products, especially bouillon cubes, are widely sold with some repackaging to reflect local terminology. In the German, Dutch and Danish languages, lovage has come to be known as "Maggi herb" (Ger. Maggikraut, Du. maggikruid or maggiplant, Da. maggiurt), because it tastes similar to Maggi sauce, although lovage is not present in the sauce.
In May 2015, Food Safety Regulators from Uttar Pradesh, India found that samples of Maggi 2 Minute Noodles had unexpectedly high levels of monosodium glutamate, as well as up to 17 times the permissible limit of lead. On 3 June 2015, the New Delhi Government banned the sale of Maggi in New Delhi stores for 15 days due to these findings. On June 4, 2015, the Gujarat FDA banned the noodles for 30 days after 27 out of 39 samples were detected with objectionable levels of metallic lead, among other things. Assam had banned sale, distribution and storage of Maggi's "extra delicious chicken noodles" variety for 30 days since June 4, 2015 after tests carried out at the state public health laboratory concluded the particular variety to contain added MSG and excessively high lead content. Some of India's biggest retailers like Future Group which includes Big Bazaar, Easyday and Nilgiris have imposed a nationwide ban on Maggi. Thereafter multiple state authorities in India found an unacceptable amount of lead and it has been banned in more than 5 other states in India. On June 4, 2015 the government of Tamil Nadu also banned maggi due to unacceptable amount of lead and other components. On June 5 the Andhra Pradesh Government Banned Maggi. Maggi will not be banned in Karnataka for now, declared minister for health and family welfare U T Khader during a press meet on June 26.
On June 5, 2015, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) ordered a recall of all nine approved variants of Maggi instant noodles and oats masala noodles from India, suggesting them unsafe and hazardous for human consumption. On the same day, Food Safety Agency of United Kingdom launched an investigation to find levels of lead in Maggi noodles. On June 6, 2015 the Central Government of India banned nationwide sale of Maggi noodles for an indefinite period. Nepal indefinitely banned Maggi over concerns about lead levels in the product. Maggi noodles has been withdrawn in five African nations- Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and South Sudan by a super-market chain after a complaint by the Consumer Federation of Kenya.
Ironically, the Bombay High Court allowed the export of Maggi while the ban in India remained.
FIRs against Bollywood Maggi Brand Ambassadors Amitabh Bachchan, Madhuri Dixit & Preity Zinta were lodged at a local court, asking the authorities to arrest them if required.
In August, tests performed by the US health regulator FDA showed no dangerous lead levels in the products. On Aug 13, 2015, the nationwide ban was struck down by the Bombay high court. The court stated that proper procedure was not followed in issuing the ban and called into question the test results, as the samples were not tested at authorized laboratories accredited to the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL).
Nestlé has faced criticism of its advertising not adhering to marketing regulations in developed countries, and making misleading claims in developing countries. Also, in October 2008 Nestlé mistakenly aired a commercial meant for Bangladeshi television on British TV. The advert made false claims that the noodles would "help to build strong muscles, bone and hair". The British Advertising Standards Authority said that the advert did not abide by the new EU consumer protection legislation, by which advertisers have to provide proof of health claims.
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