Mis-marketed soya milk turns into PR hell for BreadTalk

Pictures of BreadTalk staff selling packeted soy bean milk as fresh, surfacing online, is driving a public relations hell for the brand.

An article by RedWire first appeared online showing pictures of staff pouring Yeo’s packeted soy bean milk into its dispensers.

"Made a shocking discovery recently about the supposedly “freshly prepared” soya bean milk sold at BreadTalk. Sometimes it’s better to see with your own eyes how things are made rather than believe all the marketing slogans that the companies throw at you.

This “freshly prepared” soya bean milk from BreadTalk always tasted very familiar, but somehow I couldn’t figure out why until now. You see for yourself why. This BreadTalk staff is just pouring Yeo’s soya bean milk into bottles of “freshly prepared” soya bean sold by BreadTalk," said a Facebook user Kev in the article.

A quick look at BreadTalk’s Facebook page shows the post has made its effect, driving the ire of consumers.

Several of BreadTalk’s other social media posts have disgruntled consumers retorting sarcastically to them.

For example, one user Leon Verghese said in response to another promotional post it created on Nurses Day saying: Are you guys baking it, or buying it wholesale from the neighborhood bakeries and passing it off as your own?

BreadTalk has since apologised for mis-marketing of its products on its Facebook page:

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Dear fans and loyal customers, We've heard your concerns over our soya bean beverage sold in stores. At BreadTalk,...

Posted by BreadTalk® Singapore on Tuesday, August 4, 2015


According to advertising standards watchdog Advertising Standards Authority of Singapore (ASAS), BreadTalk infringes the Singapore Code of Advertising (SCAP) by misrepresenting the nature of its product.

Pointing out the principle of "truthful presentation" which states advertisements should not "mislead in any way by inaccuracy, ambiguity, exaggeration, omission", Tan Sze Wee, chairman of ASAS pointed out that BreadTalk had erred in these areas. But Tan added that ASAS would not be taking any action as the brand had apologised and had stopped selling the milk.

Another of BreadTalk’s brands, The Icing Room had a PR fiasco as an internet user claimed he saw staff packing a Bengawan Solo cake at BreadTalk, driving further speculation that the bakery merely re-packaged goods.

A BreadTalk spokesperson said: "The Icing Room takes this matter seriously and an investigation into this incident was carried out immediately.

We wish to clarify that this was an external cake purchase brought in by our staff member who had requested for a fellow colleague to do up the cake decor for personal consumption. This was clearly not a commercial transaction made with an external customer.

While we greatly appreciate our customers’ feedback on our service and products,  we also appeal for  objectivity and would like to thank customers for their feedback to help us improve."

The spokesperson also said that after putting out this clarification, the user removed her Facebook post.

Earlier, BreadTalk experienced another PR fiasco when it created commemorative buns for Lee Kuan Yew's passing, causing netizens to openly lash out at BreadTalk.