Juice company, supermarket fined for misleading labelling
The ACCC has issued fines totalling $20,400 to Supabarn Supermarkets and The Real Juice Company for misleading labelling on two juice products.
The manufacturer and retailer are alleged to have made false or misleading representations about the composition of private label 2-litre apple juice and 2-litre cranberry juice products.
The ACCC found that the apple juice, which was made from reconstituted apple juice concentrate imported from China, was advertised using phrases including: “It’s produced locally using the freshest quality Apples”; “Straight From a Farm” and “Made in Griffith”.
Advertising for the cranberry juice product included phrases: “No added sugar; No artificial flavours; No artificial colours; No preservatives”; “So if you like your juice fresh with nothing else added”; “It’s really just fruit juice!”, when the product contained added sugar and other additives.
ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said that truth in advertising is a priority area for the ACCC, and that consumers should be able to make informed purchasing decisions and not be misled regarding the composition of products.
“The claims we say were made versus the reality in this situation are very concerning, particularly given recent controversy over the source of some food products. In addition, false or misleading claims of this kind not only mislead consumers, but can also disadvantage competing suppliers in the market, especially those who are using Australian grown fruit.”
Sims said the case highlighted the fact that both manufacturers and retailers can be responsible for representations made on packaging or labelling of the products they supply.
The Real Juice Company is an Australian owned and operated manufacturer of juice products located in Griffith, New South Wales. Supabarn owns and operates four supermarkets in Canberra and five in Sydney.
From January 2014 to March 2015, The Real Juice Company manufactured and supplied nine flavoured juices to Supabarn under a private label contract. Both companies ceased supplying these juice products after becoming aware of the ACCC’s concerns.
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