BreadTalk says sorry for 'freshly prepared' drink

PHOTO: The Straits Times

CONFECTIONERY chain BreadTalk has pulled its soya bean drink from its shelves, after a photograph showing an employee filling up plastic bottles with Yeo's brand soya bean milk made the rounds online.

The post, which has gone viral since Sunday, claimed that the chain was selling the packaged soya bean drink as "freshly prepared".

When contacted, BreadTalk admitted that the drink was from a Yeo's packet, and that it buys the drink in one-litre packs from Yeo's in bulk. The company then repackages it into plain plastic bottles with the words "freshly prepared" on them, seals the bottles and sells them at its stores.

The problem, said the BreadTalk spokesman, arose after the chain used the bottles with "freshly prepared" labels to package the soya milk. The bottles are also used to package fresh juice for sale.

"We have heard our customers' feedback about our bottled soya bean milk," she said. "We would like to apologise for any misaligned presentation or wrong impressions created, and clarify that it is never our intention to mislead."

The chain will resume selling the drink from labelled drink dispensers instead "to prevent misunderstanding", said the spokesman.

Retail experts said it was common for eateries to buy in bulk and then repackage items, especially with the current labour crunch. But it is less common for them to sell them as freshly prepared.

"Firms just buy generic products in bulk or outsource production," said Singapore Polytechnic senior retail lecturer Sarah Lim, who added that it is then up to the retailer to decide on pricing. "It depends on demand, rental and other costs."

Meanwhile, Facebook user Sandra Lim posted on the social networking site that she saw a couple of staff members, from The Icing Room at Nex, frosting a Kueh Lapis cake from Bengawan Solo.

Ms Lim posted a photo of the staff in the process of frosting the cake.

When contacted, BreadTalk Group's spokesman Joyce Koh said: "This is definitely the wrong impression created."

"We investigated this matter (yesterday). What happened is that a staff member brought in the cake on her own accord to be decorated by a colleague," she said. "This is not allowed and the staff will be reminded of that."

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