Meat pies are a broad category, but there’s not supposed to be much wiggle room on the “meat” part.

I think we can all agree that, in terms of forthrightness in company name, it’s hard to top Mister Donut. Without prior knowledge of their brands, you might not be able to guess what Krispy Kreme or Floresta sell, and even “I’m donut?” can fill the uninitiated with doubt. But “Mister Donut” is a case of completely honest advertising. They’re a donut chain, and they put it right there in their name.

So it’s surprising that Mister Donut now finds itself having to apologize for giving a misleading name to its Melty Four Cheese and Meat Pie, which it sold between October of 2023 and April of 2024.

The Melty Four Cheese and Meat Pie (pictured above) might seem like another example of straightforward communication from Mister Donut. There’s just one problem, which is that it didn’t contain any meat.

On its website, Mister Donut described the product as “Bolognese sauce and four kinds of cheese cream with shredded cheese on top, baked to a delicious aroma.” While that description doesn’t explicitly promise any particular kind of meat, Bolognese is a meat-based sauce, made with ground beef or pork, so you’d expect some meat to be in there. Then there’s, you know, the fact that Mister Donut calls it a “Meat Pie,” both in English and in the product’s Japanese name (Torori Yonshu no Chiizu ando Miito Pai).

Instead of meat, the Melty Four Cheese and Meat Pie actually contained a soy-based meat substitute. It’s unclear how the meatless truth came to light, but on Wednesday Mister Donut issued an official apology, which was posted to the company’s official website, stating:

“We have come to understand that the Melty Four Cheese and Meat Pie, which was sold from October 4, 2023 to April 5, 2024, had no meat in its ingredients, and instead used soy meat. We sincerely apologize for any worry or inconvenience caused by the product’s name inviting misunderstanding.”

Thankfully, from the very beginning soy was listed as an ingredient in the Melty Four Cheese and Meat Pie’s allergy information available to customers. Mister Donut has also retroactively added a notice that the Melty Four Cheese and Meat Pie contains no meat as well as a link to the apology statement in the product’s description on its website.

With the dietary information having been correctly displayed, no medical issues appear to have been caused, and psychologically it’s more disappointing than dismaying for someone with carnivorous cravings to find out they’d been eating soy meat. On the other hand, Mister Donut’s saying that they “came to understand” that the Melty Four Cheese and Meat Pie was being made with soy meat is concerning, since you’d hope for them to be keeping a closer watch on the ingredients going into their food, even if the meat substitute apparently tasted close enough to actual meat that most customers apparently couldn’t tell the difference for six months.

Source: Mister Donut (1, 2) via IT Media
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