Bangladesh Food Safety Authority on Monday gave Perfetti Van Melle, an Italian sugar confectionery marketing company in Bangladesh, three days to explain why it should not be prosecuted for cheating people.
Food safety inspector Mohammad Kamrul Hasan issued the notice after finding that Alpenliebe Juzt Jelly packets often contained less materials than the consumers paid for.
Juzt Jelly is sold in a 40-gram packet and the label on it said that there are 10 candies inside, separately packed.
But some of the packets that inspector Kamrul Hasan himself bought from the market contained nine candies and an empty mini pack each.
‘The packets I opened contained at least one empty mini pack having no candy inside it,’ said Kamrul.
‘This is a very unique way of cheating people,’ he commented.
As the candies are sold in the 40-gram packet, labelled Snack Pack, the consumers tend to carry it home and often find that they have been cheated, said Kamrul.
Most of the consumers feel discouraged to go back to the retailers for a missing candy, he said.
‘It would be a million candies missing at the end of the day if the company sell a million pack daily,’ said Kamrul.
Those who are proactive enough to take up the matter with the retailers, they are in for a round of heated argument as the retailers often refuse to accept responsibility for it.
Curiously, the Juzt Jelly producer declares on the packet that the packet may contain empty mini packs containing no candies inside, but the weight of the packet would remain unchanged.
The declaration is unlikely to be factual because candies produced through automated system should weigh the same and the absence of one candy would definitely impact the overall weight of the packet, said Kamrul.
Alpenliebe is a popular candy brand in the country occupying a significant share of the local candy market.
The Perfetti Van Melle has a factory in Gazipur for producing its candies.
Each Juzt Jelly packet is priced at Tk 20.
New Age contacted Perfetti Van Melle’s Bangladesh office where nobody wanted to speak on the record.
They said that there may be some empty mini packs because of technical reasons involved with the automated packing machine.
They said that they were aware about complaints from the retailers.
Recently Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution asked Perfetti Van Melle to stop marketing substandard toffee.
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