Japanese Christmas Cake Collapse Turns into National Scandal

Written by Henrik Rothen

Dec.28 - 2023 2:01 PM CET

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Photo: X
Japanese Christmas Cake Collapse Turns into National Scandal.

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In Japan, a scandal has erupted over "collapsed" Christmas cakes, with outraged consumers, a defensive distributor, and ongoing investigations.

The incident involved Christmas pastries delivered in a deformed state, sparking a frenzy on social media and making headlines in local media. The incident became such a big issue in Japan that the distributor, Japanese department store chain Takashimaya, issued a public and solemn apology during a press conference broadcast on television by Kazuhisa Yokoyama, one of its senior officials.

The Christmas Cake Drama

Takashimaya, a department store chain, offered a Christmas cake worth 5,400 JPY (38 USD) on their online food menu.

However, when the cake was delivered to customers, it was found to be smooshed and unrecognizable.

This led to numerous customer complaints in recent days, many of whom expressed their frustration on social media, accompanied by photos.

Investigations and Compensation

Takashimaya confirmed that over 800 of the approximately 2,900 frozen strawberry cakes they sold online and delivered around Christmas were misshapen upon unpacking.

The group has launched a thorough investigation with its production and delivery partners to solve the mystery of the pastry collapse.

Kazuhisa Yokoyama clarified that temperature management was not the issue. Takashimaya has taken full responsibility for the delivery of their products, from production to distribution, and has offered compensations to affected customers.

Consumer Expectations in Japan

Japanese consumers are particularly demanding regarding the quality and appearance of products they purchase, expecting a form of perfection when shopping at luxury department stores like Takashimaya.

On social media, consumers shared their "sadness" and doubts about their trust in the group. However, some "victims" tried to maintain the Christmas spirit: one of them gave a collapsed cake to their three-year-old son for redecoration.

The photo of the pastry adorned with chocolate sparkles, multicolored sugar, and cardboard Christmas characters garnered over 16 million views on social media.

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