By Stephanie Chao, The China Post
TAIPEI, Taiwan — Uni-President Group recently announced that Ruisui milk products would see a price hike ranging between 4 percent and 6 percent for cartons produced after Feb. 27. The decision to raise prices for its milk products comes after continually absorbing the costs of improving its milk quality and the living environment of its dairy cows, the company said. Uni-President Group saw three procurement price hikes for dairy milk in 2015 and 2016, and absorbed the cost on its own without transferring it to shelf price. On an online forum, one person joked that “Lin Feng Ying’s savior has appeared,” meaning that the Ruisui price hike could be favorable for rival brand Lin Feng Ying. Other internet users said saving money was important and that they would rather buy Lin Feng Ying over Ruisui milk. Lin Feng Ying was hit by a national boycott after a food scandal centering on Ting Hsin (頂新國際) International Group in 2014. Faring Just Fine But Lin Feng Yin may not even need the help: A new survey from Central News Agency indicates that the boycott has done little to dent its popularity. Despite a boycott commonly referred as “Destroying Ting Hsin,” Lin Feng Ying milk has sold remarkably well at one local hypermarket, ranking first among all milk products sold, according to the CNA. The news agency said Lin Feng Ying milk products ranked No. 1, No. 3 and No. 8 in 2015 sales at the hypermarket. In 2016, the products ranked No. 1, No. 2 and No. 9. The loser instead was Ruisui milk, which in 2016 ranked No. 10 at the unnamed hypermarket. Voting with Their Money An employee at the hypermarket who wished to remain anonymous told CNA that Lin Feng Ying was more willing to dish out discounts, for instance its “buy a large carton and get a small for free” promotional offer. Consumers at hypermarkets are more price-conscious and the scandal-ridden milk brand has harnessed the marketing strategy of discounts for increased sales, the employee said. The employee said the Lin Feng Ying’s offers were perhaps aimed at courting consumers after the brand was damaged by a scandal that hit Ting Hsin in 2014 and tainted its subsidiary Wei Chuan Foods Corp., which produces Lin Feng Ying.
Ting Hsin was revealed to have imported and refined feed-grade fat and oils to make cooking oils for human consumption. The oil scandal sparked a national boycott against products under Ting Hsin’s banner.