Major Japan Drinks Firm Ordered to Pay Surcharge Over Misleading Packaging

Courtesy of Kirin Holdings Co.
A carton of Tropicana 100% Marugoto Kajitsukan Melon Taste, bearing the phrase “100% melon taste.”

Kirin Beverage Co. has been slapped with a ¥19.15 million surcharge order for claiming a drink containing about 2% melon juice had a “100% melon taste.”

The Consumer Affairs Agency issued the order Wednesday saying the company had violated the Law against Unjustifiable Premiums and Misleading Representations by using a carton printed with the misleading wording, according to an announcement by the agency.

The agency claimed that from June 2020 to April 2022, Tropicana 100% Marugoto Kajitsukan Melon Taste juice was sold in a package printed with a large illustration of a melon alongside wording that may have misled consumers into thinking that the drink was mostly melon juice — such as that from gensen (carefully selected) musk melon. However, 98% of the drink comprised grape, apple and banana juices.

On Sept. 6 last year, the agency issued the company with an order to take preventive measures to avoid recurrence.

Sales of the law-violating juice totaled about ¥638.5 million. Kirin Holdings Co. released a statement Wednesday saying the company intended to strengthen its package-checking systems to avoid the same thing happening again.