US drinks giants Pepsi and Coca Cola have been accused by UAE consumer protection authorities of “unacceptable fraud” by reducing the size of their cans without reducing the price and are to have some of their products removed from shelves in the emirates.
The Ministry of Economy told reporters on Sunday the two companies had reduced the size of their AED1.5 cans from 355ml to 300ml without permission and had also removed the price tag.
“What the two companies did is an unacceptable fraud and cheating….since they reduce the can size and maintained its price, they simply increased its price in violation of the consumer protection laws,” Hashim Al Nuaimi, director of the consumer protection division at the UAE Ministry of Economy was quoted as saying by Emirates 24/7.
“We consider this as deception of consumers which must be stopped,” he added.
After a number of complaints from consumers, the ministry has ordered the cans to be removed from shelves. However, a number of supermarket managers contacted by Arabian Business claimed they were unaware of the move and had not yet been instructed to remove the 300ml cans from their shelves.
Earlier this month, PepsiCo announced it was planning to cut 8,700 jobs in 30 countries as part of plan to save an extra $1.5bn over the next three years and compete with its larger rival.
PepsiCo, which owns nineteen global brands including Gatorade, Tropicana, Pepsi Max, Mountain Dew, Aquafina, Mirinda, Quaker, Lay’s, Walkers and Fritos, said revenue in the fourth quarter of 2011 rose 16 percent in the Asia, the Middle East and Africa (AMEA), with double digit snacks volume growth in the Middle East.
However, PepsiCo did not outline if any of the 8,700 jobs would be lost in the Middle East.