BRASÍLIA, DF (FOLHAPRESS) — Brazilian representatives of fast food chains McDonald’s and Burger King have sent letters to the Federal Senate debunking allegations of misleading advertising with their sandwiches (McPicanha and Whopper Costela, respectively). Companies claim to always make it clear to consumers what the composition of the meats used is.
McDonald’s went further and noted that Brazilians are accustomed to consuming and buying products that do not refer to the composition of their names.
“Brazilian consumers are accustomed to buying products that are identified by names that refer to the taste, aroma and experience they offer, rather than by their composition”,
Indicates an excerpt from the letter obtained from the report.
The company also claims that using a sauce with this particular picanha flavor adds more flavor to the sandwich than using the meat itself. He also adds that when the tenderloin meat is ground to make hamburgers, it loses most of its properties by not transferring its characteristic flavor to the hamburger.
Representatives of the two fast food chains were invited to attend a hearing in the Federal Senate Thursday (12) to explain the cases. However, the officials of both McDonald’s and Burger King in Brazil warned the deputies that they would not come and decided to send a letter containing their reasons.
The trial is still scheduled at first, with the possible participation of representatives from the Federal District Procon, Anvisa (National Health Surveillance Agency) and Idec (Brazilian Consumer Protection Institute).
In late April, the Justice Department informed McDonald’s after the chain publicly confirmed that the snacks in its newly launched McPicanha line were not made with picanha. The sandwich is actually made with a flavored sauce.
Consumers have complained serially on social networks, to the point that the network has come to remove the sandwich from the nationwide menu. But days later, he announced that they would reunite, but under a new name. The fast food giant said in a video on its Instagram page that it was “in vain” when choosing the sandwich’s name.
McDonald’s says McPicanha will return to the menu with a new name: “It’s the same flavor people love”
Days later, it was Burger King’s turn to engage in a similar argument. (2) On Monday, Federal District’s Procon suspended the sale of rib-free Whopper Ribs snacks in the federal capital. Burger King claims that the burger is made from pork shoulder and has a “natural rib flavor.”
Arcos Dourados Comércio de Alimentos, owner of McDonald’s in Brazil, reinforces in his letter to the Senate that he suspended the sale of sandwiches from the “Novos McPicanha” series as soon as he saw the discussion. He said he acted with “good faith and transparency” in both the development of products and the placement of advertising campaigns.
“The sandwiches of this new line have been developed to include a special sauce, picanha flavor (with a natural picanha flavor developed by Kerry), in addition to the largest size 100% beef burger made with selected cuts offered by the company. do Brasil ) to give consumers an even more intense experience of Brazilian picanha flavor”,
McDonald’s rep adds that there are descriptions of beef burgers with picanha-flavored sauce in all of their advertising pieces and even on the sandwich wrapper.
Procon says Burger King will be fined more than R$11 million
Finally, it was concluded that Brazilian consumers are accustomed to this type of practice.
“For decades, Brazil has marketed products that carry the flavor or aroma they carry in their name, but that do not necessarily contain the raw material that makes up that flavor in their composition. It should be noted that talking about flavors in particular is an absolutely common practice that is widely used by consumers,” he said.
Ribless Rib Whopper
BK Brasil, the main franchisee of the Burger King brand in Brazil, emphasized that the composition of the Whopper Costela sandwich has always been known to consumers and Brazilian authorities. He mentioned that the snack was registered with the “Ministry of Environment, Agriculture and Livestock” – there would actually be two folders, the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply.
For this reason, it will be reported to the authorities that 95% of the hamburger consists of pork and the rest is seasoning.
“It was announced that there was a Whopper Rib burger for pork with the flavor and aroma of pork ribs. This information was clear and unequivocal throughout the marketing period: the flavor was rib eye, not cut ribs,” says a quote from the letter sent to the Senate.
The company also claims that many products in the food industry qualify their flavor without including the relevant raw material. He gives fruit-free strawberry flavored ice cream as an example.
BK Brasil also claims that the backlash has been “abnormal” and “unfair”, causing “freak” in some consumers’ searches for product names or advertising claims that don’t match the ingredients on natura.
The company also adds that it has changed the name of the sandwich to Whopper Paleta Suína due to its policy of transparency and constant dialogue with its consumers.
The text of the letter states, “Therefore, far from qualifying as a confession of guilt or assuming responsibility, BK Brasil made this decision out of respect for the consumer.”
The author of the trial request, Senator Nelsinho Trad (PSD-MS), points out that the justifications offered by the companies do not quite match the facts, considering that the observations on the composition of hamburgers are small in size.
“We cannot consider the case as a mere mistake in the promotional campaign. In one of the cases, the sandwich is named after a cut of meat, it is described in an image where the snack appears next to the same cut, and only in fine print, very thin, by the way, is clarified. ‘like ribs’,
explained the report.
“In the other case, it is written on a banner in small print that the campaign is valid for people over the age of 12. What is the problem with consumption under this age group? Respecting everyone’s right to health and the right to obtain accurate and detailed information about products is a principle that should guide all actions of those who want to act in the market. It is important that this case be taken with the utmost seriousness and set an example. The Brazilian consumer is demanding and attentive,” he adds.