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June 19, 2017

Beefers: Where’s the Beef?

Filed under: Food/Groceries,Health,Retail — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 6:22 am

Clara Peller, the famed octogenarian who squawked “Where’s the Beef?” when confronted with skimpy burgers in Wendy’s commercials of yesteryear, would possibly have suffered a heart attack on camera had she ever seen these beef patties.

They are I&J Beefers, the top-selling frozen hamburger in South Africa.


They look like pretty normal frozen beef patties. But there is a secret lurking on the back.


Beefers ingredients

What? They are only 36% beef? Yep! And the rest of it is mostly water and soy flour.

South Africa’s labeling regulation requires food manufacturers that emphasize a key expensive ingredient in the name or description of a product to declare the percentage of that ingredient in bold type on the front of the pack. The company says they comply with the law. While the package above clearly did not, new packages do:

Beefers percentage

I&J, the manufacturer of Beefers, also sells frozen fried fish. We can only imagine what’s under the breading.

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  1. The fact that it says “New Improved Recipe” is a red flag.

    Comment by Peter — June 19, 2017 @ 7:09 am
  2. Are they imported into the USA?

    Edgar replies: Marty… I don’t know… but I tend to doubt it.

    Comment by Marty — June 19, 2017 @ 8:41 am
  3. Week after week after week, Mr. Consumer tells us, in essence, how some companies go out of their way to deceive us consumers. It is safe to say that the regular readers of Consumer World are educated consumers just by the fact that they take the time to read Consumer World. Which is to say, they are vigilant when they go out into the marketplace to buy good and services. In other words, they can usually protect their own interests quite well. That is not so for countless consumers who, for a variety of reasons, are vulnerable to the unfair and deceptive practices of many companies nowadays. It is primarily for those individuals that consumer laws are passed.

    Comment by hmc — June 19, 2017 @ 8:55 am
  4. Not lawbreaking like what you pointed out, but I will add that the picture on the box shows 2 patties stacked on a burger. If you just glance you might think a single patty is that thick, but instead I guess it is their way of saying that their patties are so small that you need to eat two at a time. Then again, if you put three of them on a burger, you’ll have just enough beef for a single patty.

    Comment by Joe — June 19, 2017 @ 9:48 am
  5. Joe, doing the conversion, each patty weighs 50 grams or 1.8 oz. What does that tell you?

    Comment by Frankie — June 19, 2017 @ 10:30 am
  6. Well Marty they may not be imported into the USA, but a check at the walmart website does show a Flanders brand that could be the same type of product.

    Comment by Richard — June 19, 2017 @ 11:21 am
  7. Edgar, You couldn’t find any bad guys in the US?

    Edgar replies: This was just so egregious, it had to be spotlighted. You’re welcome to submit some US brand pulling a similar stunt if you can find it.

    Comment by Gert — June 19, 2017 @ 3:04 pm
  8. I wonder if their ‘improved’ recipe had more beef or less beef than the previous recipe.

    Comment by Wayne — June 19, 2017 @ 4:36 pm
  9. Wayne, usually when a product uses “new” or “improved”, you know it’s a deceptive term meaning “we’ve downsized”. Unfortunately we’ll never know in this case.

    Comment by Frankie — June 19, 2017 @ 9:59 pm
  10. Well Gert it will be hard to find a US violation as we have strict rules.

    Comment by Richard — June 20, 2017 @ 6:10 pm
  11. Frankie,

    It’s so true. “Improved recipe” basically never means better tasting. It normally means ‘we found a way to make this cheaper and taste the same’ or ‘we have to reduce the quality of this product so we can make more money on it’.

    Comment by Joel — June 29, 2017 @ 12:37 pm

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