Starbucks becomes trending topic on Chinese social media again for selling expired food
Published: Jun 06, 2022 10:38 PM
Starbucks Photo: VCG
Starbucks Photo: VCG

Recent news of Starbucks being punished in China again for using expired grounded coffee bombarded China's social media platforms on Monday, fueling controversy and criticism for the US coffee brand's disrespect of customers.

According to a filing published on credit score website,, one coffee shop belonging to the Starbucks Coffee Shanghai Co, located in Hangzhou, was given a fine of 10,000 yuan ($1,505) on May 18 for selling expired food.

The written sanction against the coffee shop showed that the store purchased six boxes of grounded coffee on June 9, 2021 and sold them at 69 yuan ($10.38) per box.

When the complaint was filed, four boxes remaining were still being sold in the shop, and one was two days beyond its expiration date.

The shop destroyed the expired products on February 26.

The news sparked new controversy on China's twitter-like Sina Weibo on Monday with some netizens questioning Starbucks' reputation as the company has been repeatedly linked to scandals of quality problems.

"Starbucks is not worthy of the customers' trust," one netizen wrote on Weibo on Monday.

Some netizens also stressed that this is not the first time that Starbucks hit Weibo headlines for selling expired products. "Fines are often so mild compared to the company's profits, and this can make certain firms dare to make mistakes again. But it is basically each company's responsibility to guarantee product safety and food security should be the bottom line," one web influencer with about 3.7 million followers wrote on Weibo on Monday.

In January, two Starbucks shops in East China's Wuxi were given a fine of 690,000 yuan ($103,831) and 670,000 yuan ($100,787), respectively, for violations such as changing the expiration date in their products and using expired food ingredients, according to media reports.