On March 12, Shanghai Administration for Industry & Commerce released the 10 worst cases infringing consumers'rights in 2017. 85°C, the renowned bakery chain in Shanghai, made it to the list and was fined RMB150,000 for false advertisement.
The bakery chain was found to use meat floss powder rather than authentic meat floss in making two of their products, ‘smoked chicken meat floss bread’ and ‘spicy pork floss bread,' and this is said to have occurred in all 43 outlets across Shanghai since October, 2015. The two breads were priced RMB11 and RMB8, respectively.
According to the national standard in China, meat floss refers to the dried pork product which is made from stewing cuts of pork along with sweet soy sauce, while meat floss powder is generally made from soy powder along with adequate pork and chicken. On the market, authentic meat floss could price at RMB90 per kilogram, where as a package of meat floss powder is only RMB35 per kilogram.
As is advised by the bureau, Hexia (Shanghai) Catering Management Co Ltd, the Shanghai operator of the bakery chain, used meat floss powder to lower the cost. At the same time, they claimed to have authentic pork floss as the ingredient in the promotion, which, without doubt, was an abuse of customers’ rights. The outlet was ordered to terminate the practice immediately and pay a fine of RMB150,000 (USD23,692).
The next day, the company released an official statement concerning the scandal. In their defense, the meat floss powder did fall into the category of meat floss according to the national standard in 2007. Nevertheless, the standard was updated last year, which they failed to realize, hence the misleading advertisement. They were sorry for their carelessness and rectified the products’ names and introduction under the supervision of the bureau.
Despite the rectification of 85°C, netizens are still furious about the incident.
“If they had not been exposed by the watchdogs, would they make change to the false promotion in time?” -@lws730808
“If a brand like 85°C can deceive us for all these years, how can we be sure the other similar bakery chains are trustful when it comes to meat floss products?” -@actakeivator
Although meat floss powder is basically harmless to our body, it still seems unacceptable that a trusted bakery should deceive customers in such a way. Let’s hope other bakery chains learn a lesson from the scandal and ensure the correct ingredients are being used and promoted to customers.