Here comes another shady fruity drink.

Among Japanese convenience stores, 7-Eleven has long enjoyed a reputation for having the best quality. Yeah, every convenience store chain in Japan offers tasty meals, snacks, and drinks, but 7-Eleven’s store-brand offerings generally just taste a little better than their rivals’ do. So sure enough, you can find a lot of people online happily reporting how delicious 7-Eleven’s Tapioca Strawberry Milk dessert beverage is.

But while everyone seems happy with the sweet, creamy, and tart flavors of the drink itself, there’s something else that’s leaving a bitter aftertaste: the packaging. You might recall how we recently talked about a backlash against 7-Eleven for its banana milk packaging, in which the cup is designed to obscure its top section in order to look like it contains more beverage than it really does. This time, though, what’s causing the problem is primarily at the bottom of the cup.

Looking at the package in the photo above, which is also how it looks on store shelves, it appears like there’s an extra-luxurious layer of fruit that’s sunk to the bottom. So naturally, you’ll want to shake the drink before you take a sip, right? But take a look at what happens when you tilt the cup.

Even once you flip it more than 90 degrees, the red mass doesn’t shift at all. Is that because the fruit is so dense that it retains its shape unless you stir it directly with straw or spoon? Nope. It’s because really there’s no layer of fruit at the bottom of the cup at all, thanks to another deceptive packaging trick.

It turns out only certain sections of the cup are clear, while others are colored red or pink, making it look like the drink contains more fruit than it actually does. The cup’s bottom section is the most extreme illusion, but there are also colored markings further up on the sides.

Online reactions have included:

“They totally played me. I really though that was all fruit.”
“They’re devious geniuses.”
“Isn’t it about time they started cracking down on this kind of thing?”
“It’s like the banana juice all over again.”
“So cheap of them.”
“Shouldn’t have bought this when I was drunk.”

Thankfully, since the Tapioca Strawberry Milk is priced at just 246 yen (US$2.40), the potential financial damage to any individual customer is fairly minor, and again, everyone seems to have nothing but good things to say about how it tastes. Still, between this, the banana juice problem, and the paper tiger sandwich scandal, 7-Eleven might want to rethink how it’s packaging and displaying its items if it wants to hang on to customers’ trust.

Source: Twitter/@711SEJ via Otakomu
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