The Bread Talk Soya Bean Saga

August 05, 2015

BreadTalk? Soya Bean? Yeo's? 

I was one of the gundus who got cheated by their ''Freshly Prepared Soya Bean''

For those of you who do not know what happened, I will be giving you a brief introduction. 

So on August 3 2015, someone named ''Kev'' actually saw this happening, and thus it was reported on Red Wire Times.

    (image from Red Wire Times)
A staff was caught pouring Yeo's Soya Bean into their bottles as ''freshly prepared soyabean''

Another picture posted by their editor from a netizen.

        (image from Red Wire Times)

At least don't do it in front of your customers lah.

When I first read that article, the first thing that came to me was, BreadTalk is not going to have a good time on the 4th of August, because in Singapore, once you're caught and you have your misdeeds posted on the internet; whether is it online news site or stomp, the only word to describe your situation is; Jialat Liao. 

So this blog post is basically what I have to say regarding this matter, as a consumer, as someone who drinks that soya milk and as someone who is unhappy with the response given by BreadTalk. 

Firstly, like all the people out there in the Facebook comments, there are certain things that we are unhappy about and I am going to list them here one by one. 

  1. The Soya Milk was stated as "Freshly Prepared" and yet it was not. 
Okay, in regard to this, I have actually checked on a lot of definitions before stating what this term means. 

  • Prepared on  that day itself. (more like pouring on that day itself,)
  • No preservatives. 
  • Cooked/Cleaned by seller/manufacturer
In this case, it was machine packed by Yeo's before it was sent to BT and then ''freshly poured'' into their bottles. 

How is it ''freshly prepared''? Also, some users also commented that when asked; BT claimed that it was made freshly by them. 

What an unethical act? Although you may have bought that product, but it doesn't mean that you own that brand yourself and that you can claim that it was freshly prepared/made in the morning when it is not. You're lying to your consumers. Owning the product and the brand is two different things. 

   2. The price was too overpriced. 

As seen from netizens, 3 packets of Yeo's soya milk will only cost 2.95$

So, it means that one carton is around 1$. 
One bottle of BT's soya milk is 1.80$
1 bottle is 350ml, 1 carton is 1 litre.
1 carton can fill around 3 bottles. 
So the cost price (not including cost of bottle) is around 35cents for each bottle. 
1.80$ - 0.35$ = 1.45$ (This is the profit BT makes without the cost of the bottle)


Wouldn't bulk purchase be cheaper? So the cost of the bottle is already covered! 

And then, there were also netizens who argued; But you all also buy coke and canned drinks from restaurant at 2$-5$ what, why you never complain?

My reply to this; Well we all know where do the coke, pepsi and canned drinks come from, they all come from brands like seasons, yeo's and the coke company itself. In fact we all know the original pricing to each of the drink, for example a canned coke would cost around 60 cents in a neighbourhood mama shop. But the thing is, we are dining in a restaurant, cafe or eatery. They have their rents to consider before actually setting the prices. It's expensive but like what majority said, bobian lor if not drink iced water. They all know what they are drinking. But in BT's case, it was said to be "Freshly Prepared'' and we all know that freshly prepared items tend to cost higher, that's why us consumers are willing to pay. But if you were to tell me it's not, perhaps I wouldn't even buy it. 1$ is the max I would pay for a non fresh soy milk. 

In coffee shops and markets, (my neighbourhood's) sells a packet (in plastic) of fresh soy milk for 60 cents. And you can choose to whether have sugar added or not. The couple boils it themselves every single morning without fail. Also, another soy milk store which sells it at 1$ in a cup like bubble tea, she boils it herself as well before packing them. This is the price of fresh soy milk in coffee shops. Perhaps in a more atas context, brands that are well known like Mr Bean and Jollie Bean, one cup is around 1.40$-1.60$? Although it is in cups and not bottles. But their freshness is worth to pay for. 

Speaking of bottles, here's the next issue I want to address. 
   3.    The bottles used to contain the soy milk were the same from the orange juice. Thus, "FP"

I mean, come on BT. This explanation is one that I find the most absurd. Fine, if that you do not want to waste the bottles and it happens that you guys have no dispenser for the soy milk, that you decided to just pour in your soy milk permanently? And the thing is, the first time when I purchased the bottles it was in 2013, the bottles were still in matte white colour, like this picture below. 

image from google.

Closest image I can find. It did not contain any wordings or anything to imply it was freshly prepared, however the sign cards on the bottles did so. 

Guess what? They changed their bottles now, and you could have just have a bottle without the "FP". Still don't want to admit that you repackaged them purposely into the "FP" bottles for monetary gains?

This is how the bottle look like now. 

 Image from Guni loti on facebook

Image from Serene Tan on facebook

Perhaps the initial idea was to indeed, make use of the bottles But in the long run, has this caused temptations to just pour Yeo's Soy Milk over and claim that it's fresh for good? And this has been selling since 2013? It's 2015 now for god's sake. And a new bottle was even produced. 

Hence, your argument is invalid. 

In bread talk at Toa Payoh, a drinks dispenser is used for drinks like iced milo, and some which I don't remember, I mean if you can do it for those drinks, why not for Yeo's Soy Milk? And you only changed it when the truth came to a light. 

Also, before I forget, if you claim that the drinks were bottled to let consumers have convenience, then why not just buy the canned or packet version? You can up price them all you want!

I bet if you bought directly, with bulk purchase rates, you would have earned more. Moreover, you don't even have to spend money to buy the bottles used. 

Last but not least.

   4. Health Issues

From the picture of the expose, we all saw that the lady did not wear gloves, and it is done in an open area. It's kind of unhygienic isn't it? You see, if the lady who was scraping her dead skin with a knife and the lady who used the brush to wash her shoe can be sacked... due to hygiene reasons.. Then you should probably take note? At least, wear a pair of gloves. And also, when the soy milk is exposed to air and such, having temperature adjusted from cold to warm etc, bacteria is attacking the soy milk. It was sealed to ensure freshness and yet you guys just manually poured into the bottle? 

And by saying that it's freshly prepared, there should be no preservatives and ingredients that would cause allergy like lactose, lectin etc. Luckily, Yeo's brand do not contain lactose nor added preservatives. But what if, it does? How many people will you actually harm in this case? 

And this is something which I like to share, a facebook user apparently emailed BreadTalk last year, and he received a reply this year in January regarding the soy milk, he suspected it was from Season's. 

(Blurred out photo due to privacy issues)

You know there's a saying, liar liar, pants on fire. 

Earlier this year, the new bread that BT produced to remember our late Mr Lee Kuan Yew was seen as a disrespect as they used his death to gain sales, although the money earned was to go to Community Chest. (Why not just donate directly in his name?) So many gimmicks yet none worked. 

SG50 is coming in a few days time, and perhaps this was what BT wanted to gift to this big day?

Oh, perhaps you can come up with a new bread called SG50 bread made of red bean and white sesame seeds and sell for 50 cents? If yes you all already garnered enough publicity. 

Social media is on a rapid rise and once you're caught online, you cannot escape offline. News spreads like wildfire. 

This is a very good reminder to not just BT but all brands out there, who may be doing this so please do not commit the same mistake. The bakery was already unpopular due to their gimmicks and their not so nice yet expensive bread with punny names as compared to a Japanese Bakery with not only freshly baked bread, same price but better taste and bigger sized or even a neighbourhood bakery. 

Now you just invited more people to hate on you and not patronize you anymore. 

What do I end of this with? 

Certainly, ''Bad for business''. 

And oh, if this wasn't busted, how long will you continue with this action, BT? 

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