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Mister Donut apologizes for selling 'Meat Pies' that didn’t contain meat

34 Comments
By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

Without prior knowledge of their brands, you might not be able to guess what Krispy Kreme or Floresta sell, and even “I’m donut?” can fill the uninitiated with doubt. But “Mister Donut” is a case of completely honest advertising. They’re a donut chain, and they put it right there in their name.

So it’s surprising that Mister Donut now finds itself having to apologize for giving a misleading name to its Melty Four Cheese and Meat Pie, which it sold between October of 2023 and April of 2024.

Screenshot-2024-05-24-at-10.06.41.png
Image: Mister Donut

The Melty Four Cheese and Meat Pie (pictured above) might seem like another example of straightforward communication from Mister Donut. There’s just one problem, which is that it didn’t contain any meat.

On its website, Mister Donut described the product as “Bolognese sauce and four kinds of cheese cream with shredded cheese on top, baked to a delicious aroma.” While that description doesn’t explicitly promise any particular kind of meat, Bolognese is a meat-based sauce, made with ground beef or pork, so you’d expect some meat to be in there. Then there’s, you know, the fact that Mister Donut calls it a “Meat Pie,” both in English and in the product’s Japanese name (Torori Yonshu no Chiizu ando Miito Pai).

Instead of meat, the Melty Four Cheese and Meat Pie actually contained a soy-based meat substitute. It’s unclear how the meatless truth came to light, but on Wednesday Mister Donut issued an official apology, which was posted to the company’s official website, stating:

“We have come to understand that the Melty Four Cheese and Meat Pie, which was sold from October 4, 2023 to April 5, 2024, had no meat in its ingredients, and instead used soy meat. We sincerely apologize for any worry or inconvenience caused by the product’s name inviting misunderstanding.”

Thankfully, from the very beginning soy was listed as an ingredient in the Melty Four Cheese and Meat Pie’s allergy information available to customers. Mister Donut has also retroactively added a notice that the Melty Four Cheese and Meat Pie contains no meat as well as a link to the apology statement in the product’s description on its website.

With the dietary information having been correctly displayed, no medical issues appear to have been caused, and psychologically it’s more disappointing than dismaying for someone with carnivorous cravings to find out they’d been eating soy meat. On the other hand, Mister Donut’s saying that they “came to understand” that the Melty Four Cheese and Meat Pie was being made with soy meat is concerning, since you’d hope for them to be keeping a closer watch on the ingredients going into their food, even if the meat substitute apparently tasted close enough to actual meat that most customers apparently couldn’t tell the difference for six months.

Source: Mister Donut via IT Media

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Mister Donut becomes Mister Pizza? Japan’s favorite donut chain now sells pizza too【Taste test】

-- The Mister Donut Ice Bar: “When donuts become ice cream”

-- Mister Donut dazzles us with custom-made Pokémon furniture and edible Jigglypuffs【Photos】

© SoraNews24

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

34 Comments
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. . . Did you know that the term "meat" started as a generic term for food . . . e.g. mincemeat pies now days do not contain meat (beef, venison) but only fruit . . . please see the following internet encyclopedia article,

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mincemeat

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

“We have come to understand that the Melty Four Cheese and Meat Pie, which was sold from October 4, 2023 to April 5, 2024, had no meat in its ingredients, and instead used soy meat.

So they didn't capture the market of non-meat eaters/vegans which they could have with the offering and also mislead the meat lovers.

Total business fail and leads one to think that a GPT model could do the job of capitalism better that most execs.

Those are some overpaid jobs that could be automated away!

-2 ( +11 / -13 )

Not surprising for Japan. Most of the bags labelled as "nuts" contain some real nuts while the other items are made from rice and flour. And you gotta love the "ice cream" sundaes where the bottom third is corn flakes, hidden by the packaging. Yet the makers get away with it.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

But it taste like meat, customer won't know if they don't ask question right?

-7 ( +6 / -13 )

Total business fail and leads one to think that a GPT model could do the job of capitalism better that most execs. 

No, Capitalism has nothing to do with it, corporate dishonesty does, you can be a capitalist without deceiving people on bait and switch tactics.

Those are some overpaid jobs that could be automated away!

Then you need to hire and pay people a lot to fix them.

2 ( +10 / -8 )

Well, there's fruit juice that contains minute quantities of actual fruit juice and yogurt that is a chemical concoction of emulsifiers, corn syrup and whey left over from cheesemaking, so why not meatless meat pie? Anyone who eats ultra processed foods is taking a risk. Best to avoid fast food. Where possible, cook your own food from ingredients that are what they say they are.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

“We have come to understand that the Melty Four Cheese and Meat Pie, which was sold from October 4, 2023 to April 5, 2024, had no meat in its ingredients, and instead used soy meat. We sincerely apologize for any worry or inconvenience caused by the product’s name inviting misunderstanding.”

These corporate execs whose highly paid jobs could easily be automated away do put their business and econ educations to use in corporate speak to avoid responsibility, which is very easy to do in a legal system that favors corporate negligence like in Japan.

The management "came to understand" the listed ingredient had been substituted after seven months? Does it usually take them this long to come to understand what is in their offerings?

And what about the apology for the "worry or inconvenience caused ", not for mislabeling and negligence?

People who choose with their earnings a labelled meat product and have a plant/soy based product substituted would rightly feel they were defrauded.

And the other way around.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

so why not meatless meat pie?

You can’t mislead people. If it’s not meat, don’t claim it as such.

Anyone who eats ultra processed foods is taking a risk. Best to avoid fast food.

No, you can eat fast food in moderation, nothing wrong with it, not every food that is organic is best for you.

Where possible, cook your own food from ingredients that are what they say they are.

Yes, but sometimes you don’t want to put the time and effort in and want to cook and you just want to eat out. So it is a good alternative, but you should be aware, but you don’t need to be mentally obsessed about it.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

quote: So they didn't capture the market of non-meat eaters/vegans which they could have with the offering and also mislead the meat lovers.

Vegans don't eat cheese.

For obvious reasons, the term 'soy meat' is not normally used. Soya mince, soya protein or soya bean is more typical. 'Plant based' and 'meat free' are also common.

Perhaps the headline, er, takeaway from this should be that nobody noticed they were eating soya instead of meat for 6 months. The environment would notice if people switched for 6 months, as the impact would be a lot less.

They are lucky it isn't the other way around. Sell meat as 'meat free' and you would be buried in court cases.

I see the fuzzing out has now switched to big beige blocks. The art of photojournalism may be considered dead. Fabulous camera technologies, but no historical record worth looking at.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

quote: So they didn't capture the market of non-meat eaters/vegans which they could have with the offering and also mislead the meat lovers.

Vegans don't eat cheese.

I know. But I didn't want to get into the gradations of vegetarianism like the vegans who do not eat root vegetables or those that exclude honey as an animal product and those who do not.

In the case of a food offering that people are using to fulfill their dietary needs, businesses need to be held by a delinquent bureaucracy to a higher standard and precision in terms should be demanded.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

you can eat fast food in moderation, nothing wrong with it, not every food that is organic is best for you

You think there is fast food and organic food, and nothing in between?

Mister Donut really dropped the ball on this one,

People who thought they were eating meat felt cheated when they found out their meat pie had no meat in it.

People who might have happily ordered a soy meat pie avoided it because it seemed to be meat.

The company seems to have admitted that it has no oversight on what their outlets are selling. Gigantic responsibility and reliability fail. Who knows what other gaffs are hidden in their menu? Not Mister Donut, for sure.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

A hundred thousand (?) popular pies over six months and no-one spotted the difference?

These meat substitutes sure are making progress!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

another food outlet to pass.let them greed to kill their business.

remember old horse meat scandal in beef lasagne sold by Ikea some yrs ago?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

“Mister Donut” is a case of completely honest advertising.

THIS is the issue. That reputation is gone. The company is trying to soft soap what happened with corporate double talk, but it's the old horse and the barn door. They lost that reputation and will probably not get it back. Just a little correct labeling and they would have been all right. But now they can't be trusted to be "completely honest" about their advertising. THAT is the main issue. It's gone, MD. Take your lumps.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

remember old horse meat scandal in beef lasagne sold by Ikea some yrs ago?

Umm. No.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Was the cheese also vegan? No mention of what that was made of.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Was the cheese also vegan? No mention of what that was made of.

Good question. Vegan cheeses are a thing and combined with a plant based meat substitute could have made a popular offering for the dietary conscious.

Instead MisDo chose the deceive the customer option for short term profit, knowing there would be no consequences like the family restaurant using a plastic cheese substitute.

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/international/japanese-chain-finds-melamine-in-pizza-official/articleshow/3619536.cms?from=mdr

Business scams can be very profitable when consequences are minimal to none.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Should be fined for misrepresentation.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Sure, totally random non thought-out marketing strategy. Names out of a hat for their soy based products.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Labeling a meat product as such but contains no meat is misrepresentation which is a breach of contract.

The donuts at Mr Donut are likely to be a party in legal proceedings…

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

most customers apparently couldn’t tell the difference for six months

I wish I'd known about it. I'd love to find a veggie meat pie here in Japan.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I hope they don't start adding meat to them now, I'd like to try one now I know they're plant-based.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

They should have advertised them as "Mete Pies", the same way Hostess Twinkies have "Creme Filling".

2 ( +2 / -0 )

kurisupisu

Labeling a meat product as such but contains no meat is misrepresentation which is a breach of contract.

The donuts at Mr Donut are likely to be a party in legal proceedings…

I'm not sure you can sue a donut. Even in Japan.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I suppose the danger here is folks with a soy allergy eating it. Paying for meat and not getting it is just false advertising, which is bad but will not kill you or kick off an allergy.

Most Bolognaise sauce retort packets in Japan contain less than 8g of protein, meaning there is only tiny amounts of meat in them. A meat pie with the equivalent of maybe one eighth of such a packet of source will only have 1g or so of meat in it.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I suppose the danger here is folks with a soy allergy eating it.

It could have been, but they did their due dilligence:

"from the very beginning soy was listed as an ingredient in the (...) allergy information"

From actual experience in my family: People with allergies against such fundamental ingredients (like soy, wheat, or eggs) have to not only skim, but to actually study the allergy information for every meal anyway.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Selling a product under a deliberately misleading name, taking money from customers for something promised but not delivered is apparently not fraud in Japan?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

So mister donuts meat pies do not have meat and McDonald’s French fries which should be potatoes include meat products in Japan. Kind of a wrong system.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Somebody took Subway Sandwiches to court a few years ago over their "foot long" sandwiches...which are clearly less than a foot long. The court ruled, basically, "never mind, no problem." Shame on Subway for their obvious deceit and the feckless judge for his lack of judgement.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Many years ago I ordered taki-yaki balls, but asked the guy to make some without tako in them. I stood back, waiting for him to make a special batch.

Not seeming to listen, he wrapped up a pack and slapped it down in front of me, hand out for cash. All of five seconds.

I looked him in the eyes and said, "I don't think you understood me. I want tako yaki, but without the octopus bits."

He glanced at me, saying "None of our takoyaki have any tako in them."

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Absolutely shameful! What’s worse they still called it a meat pie after admitting there was no meat in it!

where is the governing body with some teeth to make these corporate liars pay?!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

THIS is the issue. That reputation is gone

No.

We’re hardly talking Sweeney-Todd here.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Not surprising. Mr Donuts are pretty bad quality anyway, they always get my heartburn.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

They always got stuff that don't match!

Cereal, no milk

Peanut butter, no jelly

ham, no burger!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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