From PepsiCo to Cadbury: Content Creator FoodPharmer is Healthifying India with his ‘Label Padhega India’ Initiative

“Lekin kya aapko pata hai?” - you hear this and you know that it’s a FoodPharmer video. The MBA graduate and clean eating champion from Kolkata is educating people, one video at a time, with his mantra of mindful consumption.

Srushti Pathak
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Social media influencers can really make a difference by using their reach. And the latest example of this is Revant Himatsingka, who goes by the name ‘FoodPharmer’. He regularly posts about picking healthy food over processed products. With his ‘Label Padhega India’ initiative, he aims to get companies to stop falsely marketing their products.

India & its History with Questionable Packaged Foods


It’s 2015 and you just heard that your beloved Maggi noodles are no longer available at your nukkad ki dukaan. Or anywhere in India for that matter. It was in 2014 when food safety regulators from the Barabanki district of Uttar Pradesh reported that samples of Maggi Noodles had high levels of monosodium glutamate (MSG) apart from high lead content above the permissible level. At the time, the labelling on packets of Maggi Noodles indicated that it had no added MSG.

Between June 5 and September 1, 2015, nearly 38,000 tonnes of Maggi Noodles were recalled from retail stores across the country and destroyed. Maggi’s share in the Indian market went down from 80 per cent to zero.

The crisis involving Maggi Noodles in India was so bad that several case studies have been made on it. It nearly threatened the existence of Nestle India as Maggi sales contributed to over 25 per cent revenues of the Swiss company’s India unit.

FoodPharmer and the Lay’s news

Lay's Chips

Recently, the content creator announced that Lay’s maker PepsiCo has decided to reduce the use of palm oil in its chips. A month ago, he claimed in his video that while Lay’s India used palm oil in its chips which is harmful, Lay’s USA used vegetable oil instead of palm oil.

“Big win! Lay’s India to reduce palm oil usage! Last month, I made a video showcasing how Lay’s India uses palm oil but Lay’s USA does not use Palm oil! After a lot of public pressure, Lay's India has set a public statement that they have begun the process to replace palm oil in their Lay's!” He wrote on X (formerly Twitter).

What is palm oil and why such hullabaloo about it? Palmolein is a liquid fraction obtained through a refining process from palm oil, with both derived from the same oil palm fruit. Palm oil is in semi-solid form. Although palm oil contains vitamin E and antioxidants, it is high in saturated fats.

According to Harvard Medical School, oils like palm oil, palm kernel oil and coconut oil contain saturated fats which boost ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. Both these factors increase the risk of heart disease.

It is speculated that as a result, PepsiCo India, which manufactures the popular brand Lay's, is testing a new oil blend for the potato chips product. 

Local Samosa talked to PepsiCo India and a spokesperson said, "PepsiCo is dedicated to producing high-quality, great-tasting products in every market where we operate. There are often different recipes for foods or drinks in different countries, which is attributed to several factors such as local preferences, manufacturing capabilities, ingredient availability and market dynamics. Ingredients are listed on every product we sell in India, allowing consumers to make conscious decisions about their purchases. In this context, PepsiCo India initiated trials of a blend of sunflower oil and palmolein oil in certain parts of our portfolio last year, becoming one of the few players in the food industry in India to do so".

Food Labels can be Misleading

Food Labels

The responsibility of setting food labelling requirements in India lies with the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, commonly known as FSSAI. It is the apex regulatory body responsible for overseeing food safety and labelling regulations. Whenever a new product is introduced or the packaging of an existing product is updated, the producer is obliged to adhere to the labelling regulations established by the FSSAI.

Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has defined claim as, “Claim means any representation which is printed, oral, audio or visual and states, suggests, or implies that a food has particular qualities relating to its origin, nutritional properties, nature, processing, composition or otherwise”.

Food labelling claims play a crucial role in helping consumers make informed choices about the foods they consume. While India has regulations in place to ensure accurate and transparent labelling, challenges remain. By understanding the significance of food labelling claims, being aware of regulatory guidelines, and adopting a critical approach, consumers can navigate the complex world of packaged foods and make healthier choices that align with their preferences and well-being.

And that’s exactly what led to FoodPharmer launching his new initiative.

‘Label Padhega India’ Initiative

Label Padhega India
Image Courtesy: FoodPharmer

Revant Himatsingka’s video showcasing the truth behind the sugar contents of the popular kid’s drink Bournvita (Cadbury) went viral. Since that video which discussed the potential impact of such high sugar levels on children, FoodPharmer has contributed tremendously to understanding the impact of packaged food products. 

On May 11, FoodPharmer started an initiative to promote checking the nutrition label at the back of all packaged products. The objective of the initiative is to raise awareness about the hidden dangers lurking behind the nutritional labels of packaged foods, highlighting the poor effects of preservatives and unhealthy additives on consumer’s health.

The initiative, ‘Label Padhega India’ also includes actor Archana Puran Singh, choreographer Terence Lewis, Sportsperson Abhinav Bindra, Dinesh Karthik, Flying Beast, Ankita Bainyanpuria, Ankur Warikoo, Tech Burner, Thugesh, Saurav Joshi, Abhi and Niyu, Luke Coutinho, and many more. 

“I am starting a health movement called ‘Label Padhega India’ to fight against all the recent health controversies that have been taking place for example, Bournvita health drink, Patanjali issue, protein powder etc. Companies give us poor quality food because Indians are often not aware of what goes in their food as they don’t read labels”, Revant said in a recent interview.

He has also initiated a social media challenge to my audience to tag three individuals and urge them to read the nutritional labels of packaged foods.

“If the majority of the country starts reading labels, companies will not be able to falsely market themselves and they will have to give us clean foods”, he added.

With inputs from India Today amd Mid Day

Cadbury FoodPharmer Label Padhega India food label Nestle