Pioneer Foods respond after consumers find mould in carton of Liqui Fruit juice

If you have been hanging around social media lately, you have probably come across the drama surrounding Liqui Fruit. Picture: Liqui Fruit

If you have been hanging around social media lately, you have probably come across the drama surrounding Liqui Fruit. Picture: Liqui Fruit

Published Dec 28, 2023

Share

If you have been hanging around social media lately, you have probably come across the drama surrounding Liqui Fruit.

Earlier this week, the fruit juice brand trended on X after consumers called out the manufacturer, PepsiCo-owned Pioneer Foods, for not addressing the concerns of consumers over “slimy stuff” that was found in the juice.

Curious to establish what the foreign thing was or if they would find one, many consumers have cut open their Liqui Juice packages while recording a video.

Some results reveal a moist mass floating on what is meant to be a smooth fruit juice blend inside a sealed carton. They have taken to social media to question the drink’s ingredients and food safety.

“Liqui fruit not addressing the weird things found in their juice is some nasty business,” wrote one user.

“Haven’t bought Liqui Fruit since I saw these videos on TikTok. They didn’t even have the decency to respond to people’s complaints although they were tagged multiple times.” wrote another user.

Consumers are also angry about the brand working with influencers in trying to “persuade customers to buy the product” yet it has not addressed the concerns.

This comes after an influencer, @MandzNotHot, posted a 50-second clip on X, showing how people could enjoy Liqui Fruit this festive season.

“So Liqui Fruit is bringing influencers into their entire mess now? They won't even issue an apology statement but blame customers for failing to check on the expiry date. I'm sorry they are a red flag. I’m so disappointed because I always buy Liqui fruit for my 3-year-old. This is so bad!” wrote one user.

“Instead of resolving customer complaints, Liqui Fruit is paying black so-called influencers to persuade customers to buy the product,” wrote a second user.

A third commented: “I remember a time when companies actually apologised for rotten products and gave you apology vouchers. Not this gaslighting by Liqui Fruit.”

A fourth wrote: “It seems like @PioneerFoodsSA is convinced that the best way to respond to the Liqui Fruit mess is by gaslighting us through influencers. Disgusting behaviour really.”

Addressing the situation, the brand has acknowledged that mould has been detected in certain batches of Liqui Fruit juices.

“Regrettably, in some isolated instances, mould has been detected in certain batches of Liqui-Fruit juices. As a trusted provider of premium fruit juices, Liqui-Fruit products are manufactured under strict quality control procedures to ensure that products of the highest standard reach its consumers.

“Furthermore, Liqui Fruit juices adhere to applicable food manufacturing regulations and legal requirements, which the factories ensure compliance with international food safety standards.

“During our production process, the juice is de-aerated (all air removed from the pack), flash pasteurised, filtered through various sifting systems, and packed in aseptic conditions.

“Hence, all packaging material, machinery, and juice are commercially sterile,” they said.

When it comes to the mould formation of the selected products, they said food scientists have been resourced to identify the causes of the presence of mould.

The team said it has been confirmed by their specialists on inspection of the complaint samples, that investigated packs appeared to have been linked to compromised packaging.

“The compromised packages occur as the product is packed irregularly over long distances - possibly breaking the seal of the Liqui Fruit juice, resulting in oxygen infiltrating the preservative-free, 100 % fruit juice and creating mould formation over time.

“Food scientists at Pioneer Foods (Pty) Ltd have also advised that mould formation of compromised packaging has been worsened by warm weather conditions, as the product travels to reach consumers, pressure builds inside the pack compromising the preservative-free 100 % juice,” they said.

In emphasising the significance of product integrity and the necessity for customers, the team asks consumers to please check for any signs of broken seals before making a purchase and that consumers need to utilise the product within 5 days of opening and it keeps refrigerated.