In order to help grouper fish farmers that have been oppressed by China's import prohibition, Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chi-mai recently promoted online grouper French fries made by local farmers. However, netizens questioned that the product named Jagarico is a copy of the French fries product made by Japanese snack brand Calbee. Upon this news, the producer immediately apologized and took the product down.
To boost tourism, Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chi-mai ate red bean shaved ice under the blazing sun at the Black Sand Festival and Beer Carnival in Cijin on July 6. However, his recent promotion of groupers, posting local producer's grouper French fries pictures online, is being questioned that the product name is copied from a Japanese snack.
Chen Chi-mai, Kaohsiung City Mayor: “The producer already apologized and admitted their mistake, and recalled as well as removed off the shelves all products. Our original intention was to help our grouper fishermen so that they can have better sales channels.”
It is reported that the copied product is named Jagarico from a Japanese snack brand Calbee. The Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in Japan stated online that this Taiwanese product is grouper-flavored Jagarico; hence netizens believed that this may be misinforming people that it is a Calbee product. After the news hit, the producer immediately made a public apology statement on its website.
Mr. Su, Fish Enterprise President: “The product name is still called Grouper French fries; that is our "main product name." The other one is sort of a "nickname." But it is our negligence that this mistake happened, so even though troublesome, we immediately took the products off the shelves. We also informed other channels to recall them as soon as practicable.”
Due to China's import prohibition, Taiwan grouper farmers and the government have been racking their brains to find ways to promote and sell the groupers. Yet in the midst of the thesis plagiarism crisis of Hsinchu County Mayor Lin Chi-chien, Kaohsiung grouper product also falls into a product name copy controversy.