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Chinese people go hot and cold over ice creams


Ice-cream lovers in China are fuming over the their high prices. The unusually high price of ice creams has become a hot topic for discussion on social networking sites this summer. Under fire are some premium ice-cream brands.

Social networking sites also erupted when someone recently posted a video showing an ice cream of the Zhong Xue Gao brand remaining rock solid even after being left at room temperature (31 degrees Celsius) for an hour. Yet another video showed an ice cream of the same brand not melting even after being exposed to the flame of a lighter, triggering concerns about how safe it was for consumption.

In a statement issued on Sina Weibo on July 6, the company said that its salt coconut flavour ice cream, which is at the centre of attention because of the viral videos, consists of 35.8 per cent milk, 19.2 per cent light cream, 11.2 per cent coconut milk, 7.4 per cent condensed milk and 6 per cent whole milk powder. Therefore, more than 40 per cent of it is solid matter, 20 per cent higher than the national standard.

Regarding carrageenan, the company reiterated what is common knowledge, that it is a natural extract from red algae and widely used as a thickening agent in ice creams and beverages.

From the time it was established, China-based Zhong Xue Gao has been dubbed the "Hermes of ice cream" and holds a prime market position. However, it was twice fined by Shanghai's market watchdog in 2019 for making false claims in its advertisements — such as labelling ordinary raisins as premium level, claiming it uses Japanese tea leaves when it actually uses domestic ones and wrongly claiming its popsicle sticks meet infant use standards.

Chinese people go hot and cold over ice creams

Many ice-cream manufacturers employ marketing gimmicks such as collaborating with other brands and the entertainment industry — things that appeal to the younger generation — to make their products more appealing. However, if it is these publicity stunts and not the raw materials used or production and labour costs that are driving up ice cream costs, then consumers have a right to know the truth before they spend a dime.

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Chinese people go hot and cold over ice creams

 

Published : July 07, 2022

By : China Daily