Chi Limited, makers of fast-moving consumer goods, including Chivita Fruit Juice, have been making the rounds on social media after a lady-consumer opened a Chi exotic drink and found that the content is dirty and inconsumable.
The consumer, who declined mentioning her name, said the incident happened on the September 15, 2021 in Abuja.
In a footage sent, the lady expressed shock and disappointment, advising Nigerians to be more careful whenever they buy packed juice.
She said, “I just got back home, opened the fridge to take a bit of Chi exoctic juice, in the process of opening it to use my mouth as usual, it opened, and I had to use a cup, and when I poured it out, this was what i saw.
“I don’t know the particles that are here, honestly. So If I had used my mouth, all these particles would have gone into my belly without me knowing.
“Look at the date, it is still very much consumable. I am just scared, I don’t know what is at the bottom, but let’s see…”
However, on tearing the Chi-exotic juice pack, a big and scary-looking green particle was found underneath. She went on to advise Nigerians to turn out packed juice in a bowl before consuming it.
Chi is recognized in West Africa as an innovative, fast-growing leader in expanding beverage categories, including juices, value-added dairy and iced tea.
The company, founded in Lagos, Nigeria, in 1980, produces juice under the Chivita brand and value-added dairy under the Hollandia brand, among many other products. Coca-Cola acquired a 40 percent stake in Chi in 2016 from Tropical General Investments Group, the holding company for Chi Ltd. Juices and value-added dairy categories rank among the fastest-growing beverage segments in Nigeria and Africa.
It is gathered that Coca-Cola Company has acquired Chi Ltd. in Nigeria.
This is not the first time consumers are laying complaints to Chi Limited concerning their contaminated packed juice.
A consumer, AY Lipple had narrated his ordeal in 2014. He said, “Here’s what I found in a freshly opened pack of Chivita Active fruit juice today, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014 in Zaria, Kaduna State.
“Can’t describe what it is but I couldn’t drink the juice anymore. A call to the fruit juice manufacturer’s customer care was not treated with importance as the receiver kept me on hold several times under the guise of transfering my call to a supervisor or someone who would attend to my query.
“I should state that the fruit juice has an expiry date 5/5/2015 with MFG date 6/8/14.
“I think we should all be careful with the things we consume and how we consume them. I was lucky to have poured some of the contents of the fruit pack into a cup otherwise, who knows, I could’ve unknowingly swallowed these things and probably been affected/infected by it.
Is Chi Limited Negligent?
In order for Chi Limited to be found responsible, the company must have been found to be negligent. Negligence involves a duty of care, the breach of that duty, the cause of the injury being due to that breach, and damages.
The Consumer Protection Council (CPC) Act, enacted in 1992 is the primary law in Nigeria which centres on a pragmatic approach to enforcement of consumer rights making the Act consumer focused. Section 6 of the Act provides that consumers can bring complaints where they have suffered a loss, injury or damage while Section 8 provides for opportunity for consumers to get redress which makes the Act adequate to meet consumer rights.
However, there have been instances where foreign or harmful substances have been found in FMCGs, most especially in soft drinks and beverages and cases where packaged food items have caused bodily harm and in extreme cases death. Although the rights of consumers highlighted in the Act have been abused on several occasions by these FMCGs, it has most times been difficult for consumers to get redress as the evidence of proving negligence or bodily harm or injury from the purchase of the goods is almost impossible to prove. This is because the claimant must show that the negligent act resulted in damage to his person and claimants are often faced with the difficult task of proving the link between the act complained of and the alleged injury or damage.
Fruit juice companies are also no stranger to potential lawsuits.
Efforts made to get in touch with Chi Limited were fruitless as phone calls to numbers on their website failed, while email sent to email@example.com did not deliver.