Countdown curry under fire after man warns lamb rogan josh contained 'no meat'

Photos of the curry and the small amount of lamb next to a $2 coin
The miserly amount of meat wasn't enough to satisfy this Coromandel dad's hunger. Photo credit: Reddit / FatDadWins

A man has warned Kiwis against purchasing Countdown's home-brand curries, lamenting the lack of lamb in his ready-to-eat rogan josh.

In a post to Reddit's New Zealand forum on Wednesday evening, the man - who goes by the username FatDadWins - shared a photo of the tiny tidbits of lamb that were included in the Countdown Lamb Rogan Josh with Basmati Rice, a packaged curry priced at $8. To illustrate just how little meat was in his dinner, the man grouped the pieces next to a $2 coin - which was roughly the same size.

"Don't buy a curry from Countdown," he captioned the image.

Elaborating on the miserly meat, the man, who says he lives in the Coromandel, explained: "We were in a hurry for dinner and my wife grabbed two of these curries for me at Countdown... I ate the first one and it felt like there was no meat at all. Cracked open the second and I got about 30 grams of meat in the portion - I'd say about 5 percent of what the picture on the box shows.

"Now I don't expect it to look like food photography, but I kinda expect more than one teaspoon of lamb in my rogan josh."

Although the Countdown Lamb Rogan Josh with Basmati Rice doesn't currently appear on Countdown's website, it is listed on Bunch, a members-only community "dedicated to tasting, testing and talking all things food". According to the ingredients provided by Bunch, one pack of the curry is meant to be 18 percent lamb - but the man vigorously denies this was the case.

"I think in total from the two packs I probably got maybe 50 [grams] of lamb if I was lucky. The first pack, I literally didn't notice any lamb," he said.

When fellow Redditors advised the man to take it back to the store and complain, he responded: "I was super hungry so I ate rice [and] sauce - nothing to take back. Hopefully they'll reply to my messages."

Others recommended alternative shop-bought options, with one suggesting: "I can recommend the Countdown-brand Ready To Eat range. It's only chicken (Pad Thai, Butter chicken, Satay and Green Curry). It's 350g for $4.50 - tasty as, just heat and eat.

"If you are genuinely a fat dad, you might need two - so that's about $9 or you could bulk it out with some steamed veg, beans or rice."

"Call customer service," another urged, to which the man replied: "Yeah, [gave] that a shot - they are apparently too busy and I should call back another time. Probably loads of other fat guys complaining about their curries."

In a statement to Newshub, a spokesperson for Countdown said the company has "comprehensive recipe guidelines around the amount of meat that we expect to be in these products and undertake regular testing to make sure these guidelines are being met".  

"Unfortunately however, it does look like something's not quite right in this case," the spokesperson said.

"With the batch number and date code clearly visible in the photos provided, our team can now investigate what may have happened with this batch and will work to make sure this doesn't happen again. 

"The best thing for customers to do in these situations is get in touch with our team so that we can undertake an investigation and make it right. Customers can do this by either bringing the product back to the store they purchased it from or by getting in touch with our Customer Care team."

Earlier this month, Kiwis bemoaned a recent price hike at Subway that has seen the cost of a six-inch sandwich rise to almost $10.

In a post to Reddit, an Aucklander lamented that their six-inch Tuna Mayo sub had cost them $9, including a snap of the sad sandwich to illustrate. It didn't take long for New Zealanders to start adding their two cents, prompting an uproar in the comments over Subway's "rip off" pricing for such a small product.