Official inspectors fanned out through the UAE restaurants, shops and other outlets to implement a decision to take Pepsi and Coca Cola 300 ml cans off the shelves and an official said the process could take one month.
The inspectors from the Ministry of Economy and local departments in each of the UAE’s seven emirates began withdrawing those cans on Tuesday with the help of representatives from the world’s largest soft drink makers.
“The process could take one full month given the massive number of these violating cans in the UAE market,” said Hashim Al Nuaimi, director of the consumer protection division at the Ministry of Economy.
He said the cans are marketed in large numbers in groceries, restaurants, supermarkets, hotels and other shopping outlets. “This is a clear and flagrant violation of the consumer protection law in the UAE…we have just met with officials from Pepsi and Coca Cola to discuss an organized mechanism to ensure all those cans are taken off the shelves,” he told Emirat Alyoum newspaper.
He revealed that the Ministry had also received a letter from the Abu Dhabi Beverage Company Ltd, the local Pepsi producer, affirming that it has not produced those cans and blaming a firm in another emirate.
“We have not imposed fines on any shopping outlets for selling these cans…we will wait until all of them are withdrawn from the market then we will check if there will be any violators…we ask all consumers to report any outlet which sells these cans as we are keen to protect consumers against fraud attempts.”
Addressing reporters on Sunday, Nuaimi said Pepsi and Coca Cola violated rules when they reduced the size of the Dh1.5 can from 355ml to 300ml and removed the price tag off the cans.
UAE authorities will begin Monday withdrawing Pepsi and Coca Cola 300ml cans from the local market after they violated consumer protection rules by reducing the can size without prior official approval.
The Ministry of Economy said it would take those cans off the shelves at all shops and marketing outlets in the second largest Arab economy in collaboration with local departments in the country’s seven emirates.
Addressing reporters on Sunday, a Ministry official said Pepsi and Coca Cola, the world’s largest beverage producers, violated rules when they reduce the size of the Dh1.5 can from 355ml to 300ml and removed the price tag.
“We agreed to their request to market such cans provided their size is 355ml and the price is printed on them….but they reduced the size and took the price tag off the cans,” said Hashim Al Nuaimi, director of the consumer protection division at the Ministry of Economy.
“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.”
He said the Ministry had mounted an inspection campaign after receiving public complaints that the two firms had reduced the can size without cutting its price. “We consider this as deception of consumers which must be stopped.”