In the wake of the rising health concerns of energy drinks, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is set to finalise new labelling rules.
FSSAI chairperson Chandramouli said the drinks that contain caffeine should be categorised as ‘caffeinated drinks’ and packs should mention statutory safety warnings clearly.
"We are separating these drinks with other soft drink items, creating a new category called ‘caffeinated drinks,’ Chandramouli said.
Under the proposed guidelines, drinks that contain caffeine of more than 320mg per litre or parts per million (ppm) would be labelled as caffeinated drink.
In India, the prescribed upper limit of caffeine at present in soft drinks and aerated sugar water is 145ppm.
"Most of the energy drinks are likely to come under the caffeinated drinks category," Chandramouli added.
According to the proposed new rules, the labels will also have to mention in big bold letters on the can as ‘not recommended for children, pregnant women, persons sensitive to caffeine and sportspersons’ and ‘not to be consumed more than two cans a day.’
Companies will be required not to include any nutritional or health claims on the drinks, as per the new policy.
The energy drinks market in India is pegged at Rs5bn ($94m) and is expected to grow at compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25%, according to a study by Technopak Advisor.
The carbonated drinks market, which is forecasted by the study to grow by 10%-12% annually, is currently at Rs60bn ($1.1bn).