Nongfu Spring clarifies packaging controversy, stating it is based on China's architecture design, not Japan
Published: Mar 08, 2024 12:01 AM
Oriental Leaf series of Nongfu Spring Photo: IC

Oriental Leaf series of Nongfu Spring Photo: IC

Chinese bottled water giant Nongfu Spring responded on Thursday to the online controversy over the packaging design of its Oriental Leaf Green Tea drink, stating that the architectural pattern on the packaging is inspired by Chinese temples, not Japanese ones, and that the text on the bottle is about Japanese tea culture originating from China.

Recently, the Chinese bottled water and beverage company Nongfu Spring has been caught in a whirlpool of public opinion as netizens raised concerns about the packaging of its green tea products. Some people questioned the company for using the patterns of Japanese religious buildings on its packaging, which made them feel uncomfortable and angry, while others suggested that the company's motives may be driven by marketing strategies aimed at leveraging foreign cultural elements to capture consumer attention.

In response, Nongfu Spring customer service clarified that the architectural patterns on the packaging of the Oriental Leaf Green Tea drink are artistic creations based on the image of a Chinese temple, rather than Japanese architecture.

Additionally, the company highlighted that the text on the green tea bottle clarifies that Japanese tea culture originated from China. The text explains that in 1267, Japanese monk Nampo Jomyo studied Buddhism and the tea ceremony at Jingshan Temple in Hangzhou, East China's Zhejiang Province, then introduced steamed green tea to Japan, which ultimately led to the creation of matcha.

The bottled water giant added that the text was supported by detailed descriptions and evidence found in numerous literature. The content is not only authentic but also meticulously sourced, with the intention of highlighting the profound impact of Chinese tea and tea culture on a global scale, thereby showcasing a strong sense of national pride and confidence.

In June 2021, the Zhejiang-based bottled water brand NongFu Spring faced backlash from Chinese netizens after its peach-flavored sparkling water was marketed sourcing peach ingredients from Japan's Fukushima Prefecture.

Global Times