The Consumers Association of Singapore (Case) has issued a strongly- worded warning to bakery BreadTalk, informing the firm that its recent actions were in breach of the law. It also warned the company that it would take action should such "flagrant breaches" continue.
The bakery chain came under fire for selling soya bean milk from Yeo's in bottles labelled "freshly prepared" at many of its outlets.
A video of a BreadTalk worker pouring the drink from a Yeo's carton into the bottles, which was widely circulated on the Internet, had sparked off the angry reaction.
The letter, sent out by the consumer watchdog yesterday, called for a meeting with the company to "discuss the matter".
In the two-page letter, Case detailed how BreadTalk had breached the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act (CPFTA). Under this Act, it is an unfair practice for BreadTalk to do or say anything to deceive or mislead a consumer, or make a false claim.
The questionable practice by BreadTalk is unacceptable. By indicating the words 'freshly prepared' on the bottles, consumers may reasonably be deceived or misled to believe that the soya bean milk was freshly brewed in-house and therefore commands a higher value than Yeo's pre-packed soya bean milk.
MR SEAH SENG CHOON, executive director of Case
"The questionable practice by BreadTalk is unacceptable," said Case executive director Seah Seng Choon. "By indicating the words 'freshly prepared' on the bottles, consumers may reasonably be deceived or misled to believe that the soya bean milk was freshly brewed in-house and therefore commands a higher value than Yeo's pre-packed soya bean milk."
"Under the CPFTA, a court may award the consumer damages in the amount of any loss or damage suffered by the consumer as a result of the said unfair practice," he said.
Case also has the authority to take up court orders against errant retailers to stop unfair business practices.
The BreadTalk Group could not be reached for comment.