Thai Milk Tea Packaged in Laundry Detergent Container Met With Uproar

The restaurant chain responsible for the product has ceased to offer the ‘innovative’ beverage after an outcry from Chinese netizens

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7:05 PM HKT, Thu May 19, 2022 1 mins read

Despite China’s abundance of milk tea lovers (and proponents), a Thai restaurant chain in Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu province, has had a hard time finding champions for its new Thai-style milk tea product. The beverage comes packaged in a laundry detergent-inspired receptacle and has been met with a social media backlash that can only be described as the stuff of soap operas — see what we did there?

Created by Nanyeli, which has three outlets in Nanjing, the bizarre beverage has only served to turn heads instead of wetting whistles. Even so, unaffiliated shops in Chongqing and Guangdong have imitated the product and commercialized their own versions of the drink.

Nanjing Thai-style milk tea

Nanyeli’s atypical package design went viral on Weibo with a related hashtag garnering 140 million views in just a few days.

Most netizens rejected the concept en masse, voicing their concerns about food safety, especially for children, who might mistake actual laundry liquid for milk tea.

“This is dangerous and could easily mislead children! We must oppose this,” reads the most upvoted comment, which has 20,000 likes.

“Children may start to think that laundry detergent is drinkable,” agreed another netizen.

Above all else, most Chinese netizens found the concept simply ridiculous.

“Looking at the bottle, I have no thirst for this product,” derided one commenter. Another wondered, “Why would anyone want to drink milk tea in this style?”

Although the restaurant chain claims not to have had any in-person complaints at their stores, Nanjing’s local market supervision and administration bureau launched an investigation into the milk tea packaging. As a result, the restaurant chain swiftly recalled its ‘innovative’ product, reported Chinese news outlet Xinhua.

Product packaging in China might range from controversial to successful, but one thing’s for sure: Local consumers are spoilt for choice, and with China’s private consumption set to hit 12.7 trillion USD by 2030, we expect bizarre, eye-catching products aren’t going anywhere.

All images via Weibo

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