SEOUL, Aug. 9 (Korea Bizwire) - The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety launched an investigation after it received consumers’ complaints that they noticed a strong smell of disinfectant when they opened a Cass can, Oriental Brewery’s flagship product. As it fuels fears among consumers, the rumor seems to have a bad effect on its sales.
On August 7, the beer brewer said consumers have complained that they felt or smelled disinfectant when they had Cass. Moreover, the news went viral on social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter or KakaoTalk.
As the problem persists, the ministry is carrying on scrutiny with experts to identify any problem on the 5th. In last June, the ministry already had conducted an investigation only to conclude that there was no problem in it. As complaints are continuously being brought up, however, the food safety agency resumed its investigation. As of late August 5, more than 10 complaints have been received.
Oriental Brewery sees the problem occurred during distribution, not during the production process. “Beers tend to go bad on scorching hot days while they are distributed,” it explained.
Despite its explanation, the rumors don’t seem to be silenced. On the 5th, a rumor circulated on the Internet saying, “Don’t drink Cass. I can’t give you a detailed explanation as I’m in this business. But I warn you, particularly pregnant women, not to drink it especially the batch produced from June 2014 to August 2014.”
The brewery assumes that the rumor is made up and fueled by its competitors. “There are people who want to benefit from our problems,” the company said. “We are looking into taking a legal action against them,” it added.
But a person in the brewery business said, “It is nonsense. People in the business have their own business ethics. Nobody seems to have made or circulated the rumor.”
However, it seems hard to quash the rumor. It is because a lot of unnamed individuals on the Internet have spread the rumor and fueled fears. “I used to enjoy drinking Cass, but now I can’t help but choose other brands,” a consumer said, expressing fears.
The rumor is putting Oriental Brewery in trouble since it came out in the middle of the summer season during which beer sales are highest. It seems inevitable that the rumor has a bad influence on its sales. “It is true that we are receiving an increasing number of complaints,” the brewery said. “So we are carefully waiting for the result of the investigation by the food ministry,” it added.
By Veronica Huh (firstname.lastname@example.org)