Walmart China Recalls Donkey Meat Tainted With "Other Animals," Including Foxes. Ew.
Bad news for Walmart customers in China: the world's largest retailer has recalled its “Five Spice” donkey meat, because tests from the The Shandong Food and Drug Administration revealed the product contained the DNA of other animals. For example, fox meat... and it's unclear what exactly else, so you can use your imagination for that one. "We are deeply sorry for this whole affair," said Greg Foran, Walmart's China president and CEO.
Now, Walmart says it will reimburse customers and assist the local authorities with an investigation into its local supplier. In some parts of China, donkey meat is a popular snack — in 2011, China slaughtered 2.4 million donkeys — but donkey only accounts for a tiny fraction of the country's meat consumption. Still, the debacle poses a huge problem for Walmart in the country, which was already flailing for market share in China and riddled with accusations of tainted products.
"This is another hit on Walmart's brand, meaning wealthy shoppers will start to lose the trust they had before," said Shaun Rein, the managing director of China Market Research Group.
In the last three years, Walmart's market share in China has fallen from 7.5 percent to 5.2 percent. This debacle will further hurt Walmart's reputation for selling quality food in the country, and not at a good time — China’s $1 trillion grocery market plans to continue its growth by opening 110 brand-new local stores in the next few years.
And this isn’t the first time Walmart has run into trouble when it comes to sales in China. Back in 2011, China fined the U.S. company alongside Carrefour (a French retailer) a combined 9.5 million yuan ($1.57 million) for manipulating product prices. Walmart was also fined by Chinese authorities in 2011 for selling duck meat past its expiration date.
Sell us bad meat once, shame on you. Sell us bad meat twice… well, still shame on you, Walmart. Get your act together.
Photo via Flickr/Fruitnet.com