An ice cream-related controversy is, ironically, so hot right now in Indonesia, with accusations flying around that Indonesians are being cheated out of a much-hyped dessert.
Awirachma, a food vlogger based in the East Java capital of Surabaya, posted a couple of videos on Saturday showing his quest to find Viennetta, a recently re-released ice cream bar by Wall’s Indonesia that is reportedly hard to find anywhere despite the fact that they should be available at the country’s biggest convenience store (or “minimarket” if you prefer local speak) chains. Awirachma believes that he found the reason behind the dessert’s scarcity.
“To all of you who are facing difficulties finding Viennetta ice cream at minimarkets near you, it’s actually not hard as many employees of Alfamart and Indomaret have been hiding [them] in the lower parts of the freezer. But after I discovered [the ice cream] the minimarket employees acted strangely,” Awirachma wrote.
According to Awirachma, several of the cashiers he confronted said some store employees had already bought the ice cream, presumably for personal consumption or reselling.
At the time of writing, Awirachma’s Instagram video has received more than 8 thousand likes and a whopping 27 thousand comments, dominated by negative statements. Many of the commenters accused Awirachma of chasing clout and defaming the employees in the process, as well as stating that the minimarket employees are also entitled to buy any item on sale.
The screenshots of the post have made their way to Twitter, with one post in particular having been retweeted more than 20 thousand times at the time of writing.
Jadi ini alasan es krim viennetta sering ga ada di mini market. Gue ga tau ini kecurangan atau bukan tp dibeli oleh karyawan dan disimpan dibawah rak eskrim. pic.twitter.com/6ypOsmowZ6
— Herland Dean (@Herlanddean) April 18, 2020
“So this is the reason why Viennetta ice cream is often not available at minimarkets. I don’t know if it’s a foul play or not but they’re bought by the employees and kept under the ice cream rack.”
Responding to the viral post, both Indomaret and Alfamart denied that they stockpile goods, including ice cream products.
“We can be sure that there’s no [stockpiling]. We don’t hide anything. We sell [Viennetta] like normal. We don’t mark up prices. What for? Our principle is that we only want to sell. If our employees do that, we will give them a warning,” Indomaret’s spokeswoman Wiwiek Yusuf told Tirto today.
That said, both minimarket chains say they will look further into the accusations.
Wall’s Indonesia took to Instagram today to express their gratitude as well as apologizing to the customers for Viennetta’s limited stock. As expected, if you look around online marketplace sites, you can find people reselling Viennetta at far higher prices than the retail price of IDR50K (US$3.22).
Viennetta is an ice cream bar that was popular in Indonesia in the ‘90s and early 2000s but was considered pricey back in the day.
The premium ice cream product is made by Wall’s (known as Good Humor in some countries), and takes the form of a bar of soft ice cream layered with chocolate. The product, which was initially launched in the UK, had been discontinued since around the early noughties in Indonesia, but is still sold in some European countries today.
PT Unilever Indonesia, the producer of Wall’s ice cream, announced earlier this month that they’re producing the ice cream in limited quantity in conjunction with the upcoming fasting month of Ramadan, which will fall on either April 23 or 24.