Trade Resources Company News ACCC Drags Heinz to Court Over Nutritional Claims on Toddler Products

ACCC Drags Heinz to Court Over Nutritional Claims on Toddler Products

Australia's consumer watchdog has filed a lawsuit against H.J. Heinz Company, alleging that it made false and misleading representations in its advertisement for Little Kids Shredz products.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has claimed that Heinz violated the country's consumer law by falsely advertising the nutritional value of its products for young children.

The watchdog said images of fresh fruit and vegetables and statements such as '99% fruit and veg' on its Shredz products' are misleading.

ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said: "The ACCC has brought these proceedings because it alleges that Heinz is marketing these products as healthy options for young children when they are not.

"These products contain over 60 per cent sugar, which is significantly higher than that of natural fruit and vegetables - for example, an apple contains approximately 10 per cent sugar."

The ACCC's action was prompted by the Obesity Policy Coalition about food products for toddlers.

The World Health Organisation recommends limited consumption of foods containing fruit juice concentrate to curtail the risk of obesity and tooth decay.

Heinz has been selling Shredz products in the country since August 2013. The product range includes three varieties; peach apple and veg, berries apple and veg, and strawberry & apple with chia seeds.

The commission is seeking penalties for breaching the consumer law.

Sims added: "The ACCC wants to make clear that major companies have an obligation under the Australian Consumer Law to ensure products' health claims do not mislead the public.

"As part of the ACCC's current focus on consumer protection issues arising from health claims by large businesses, we are particularly concerned about potentially misleading health claims for products being marketed for very young children."

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