Nongfu Spring receives online backlash after marketing its peach ingredient is being sourced from Japan's Fukushima Prefecture
Published: Jun 27, 2021 11:03 PM
Peach-flavored sparkling water of NongFu Spring Photo: VCG

Peach-flavored sparkling water of NongFu Spring Photo: VCG

The Zhejiang-based bottled water brand NongFu Spring has received backlash from Chinese netizens after its peach-flavored sparkling water was marketed sourcing peach ingredients from Japan's Fukushima Prefecture.

The shares of Nongfu Spring fell 1.58 percent on Monday, following up with the online backlash on Sunday.

A Chinese netizen posted a photo on social media platform Weibo on Saturday, showing an advertising board in a supermarket saying a peach-flavored sparkling water from Nongfu Spring uses "Atakuti peach" from Japan's Fukushima Prefecture as ingredients, along with screenshots of the drink's introduction from Nongfu Spring's official Wechat account stating that "the peach is from Japan's Fukushima Prefecture."

The netizen later said to be contacted by Nongfu Spring with an update saying that the company just used a recipe to imitate the taste of the peach, but the ingredients are not from Japan's Fukushima Prefecture, and the company would conduct a full review.

Chinese netizens commented with anger under a statement posted by Nongfu Spring on Sunday in order to address the situation. A comment with the most likes said that "there are so many types of peaches in China that you do not choose, but you have to use Fukushima to attract attention." More than 7,000 comments are left under the statement as of press time.

The statement said that the food label on the drink clearly indicates the ingredients of the product follow relevant laws and requirements without any misleading information, showing the drink does not contain anything from Japan's Fukushima Prefecture.

The statement also emphasized that the type of peaches mentioned in the advertisement originated from the Fukushima Prefecture, but has been introduced to China in the last century. Nongfu Spring only created the product based on the unique flavor of the peaches, which has nothing to do with the origin of the peaches.

Nongfu Spring requested media platforms and all social media accounts to immediately delete articles and comments that harm the reputation of the company to avoid any further spreading damage to the reputation of Nongfu Spring, read the statement.

The market regulator in Jiande city, East China's Zhejiang Province, has inspected Nongfu Spring's production workshop in Jiande on Sunday and verified that the raw materials for the production of Nongfu Spring's peach-flavored sparkling water are not purchased from Japan's Fukushima Prefecture. 

Chinese netizens have been highly aware of issues related to the Fukushima nuclear plant, especially after Japan decided to dump Fukushima wastewater into the sea in April.