WPBeijing was a marketing studio founded by Peter Bic and Everlyne Yu in Beijing, October 2003. In 2017 it became known as Bicyu NZ Co Ltd. Aim2D is an umbrella media arm of Bicyu. This article is part of a Weekend Series where we dare to share some of our experiences and insights. So, make yourself a pot of Oolong tea, grab a chocolate bar and settle down for a longer read.
Fake Food- of a different kind
We have made quite a few posts over the past six or eight months regarding food. Mostly around the subject of faux or fake meat. Today, we look at fake food from another angle. But first- perhaps you need a little bit of background.
China State Broadcaster CCTV has an annual “Consumer Rights” show where it sends undercover reporters with hidden cameras and mics into various businesses. Often these unsuspecting companies have been the subject of China social media gossip or criticism in the not too distant past. Although not entirely, more often than not, the target is foreign owned or JV [join venture] businesses.
Chinese always have loved nothing better than a good expose of the dirty tricks and ways foreign firms rips of the poor, unsuspecting, trusting Chinese consumer. In today’s hyped up age of national pride this is a sure fire box office hit. Victims in the past have included Apple and Landrover. It usually culminates in a series of groveling social media posts from off shore brand CEO’s and heartfelt apologies to Chinese consumers. Then, a little bit like Chinese New Year, it is all over, honour has been restored, justice served.
So today we are looking at the dirty rotten tricks of the US takeaway food Giant- Burger King no less. In particular, those in the Jiangsu province. When the footage went to air, it showed not only yesterday’s buns – of the bread type- being warmed over and re-served, [always thought a few of mine tasted a bit” cardboardy “to be honest] but also a deliberate regime of skimping or even omitting ingredients. Cost cutting measures.
As one who has, years gone past, worked in the FF industry we know that warming cabinets [they store the pre made buns in anticipation of a rush] have timers, which flash red when food stored therein is past its sell by time. However, Chinese viewers were treated to staff simply resetting them back to green. Now this probably happens the world over more times than we like to think about, not just in FF either. In truth maybe it doesn’t effect the food quality, or health standards, but I say, it just isn’t cricket – is it.
This link will take you to the official story Weibo page complete with incriminating video footage- text and audio in Chinese only – but Google etal do fair job of comment translation. Or, if you prefer to read the English version, this extension on Caixin is convenient.
You may need to become a member- it’s free- just need an email, or for full access, whip out your credit card~ That way you will be well informed of business in China pretty much as it happens, 24/7.
Hello, I’m Everlyne Yu, founder and CEO of Uengager and WPBeijing Marketing Studio 2003.
I have a wealth of knowledge and experience in the China market and have been privileged to work with many international clients, such as VW and their release of their Bora and the extremely successful CC as well as a long term, ongoing relationship with Sodexo.
I am happy to chat and discuss any questions, no matter how small or trivial you may think. Probably someone has already asked the same question- many times!
In China Marketing- there is no such thing as a silly question.
To see how your brand can flourish in China, please talk to Everlyne now.