New Indian packaging norms take effect from November

30 September 2012 (Last Updated September 30th, 2012 18:30)

The new packaging norms set out by the Consumer Affairs Ministry in India will be applicable from 1 November 2012.

The new packaging norms set out by the Consumer Affairs Ministry in India will be applicable from 1 November 2012.

"Under the new norms, which will exempt small packs, the companies will be required to pack items in standard sizes only."

Expected to increase product prices, the proposed packaging norms will have an impact on biscuits, among other goods, which is one among 19 product categories and is regarded as a low-value item.

Initially, the norms, which were set out in 2011, were to take effect by July 2012, but were postponed due to severe lobbying by fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies, business-standard.com reported.

Under the new norms, which will exempt small packs, the companies will be required to pack items in standard sizes only.

Pack sizes, in the case of biscuits, soaps, coffee, tea and beverages, start from as low as 25g going right up to one kilogram.

In other categories, including branded rice and flour, sizes of the packages start from 100g and go beyond five kilograms, while the minimum pack size in the case of detergents and laundry soaps is 50g.

P Ganesh, Godrej Consumer Products (GCPL) chief financial officer, commenting on the norms, said: "Certainly it does bring some relief to players with small packs not falling under the norms."

According to analysts, the initiative not to standardise small packs will help companies, since they act as entry-level products called recruiter packs that help consumers get familiar with the brand.

Introducing standard packs at the entry-level is expected to lead to odd pricing, discouraging consumption, analysts predict.