Watching the waistline means watching the breadline.
Premier Foods is unhappy that Tiger Brands is using calories instead of kilojoules (kJ) on the packaging of their Albany Ultima brown bread.
Premier Foods complained to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) about these claims on Albany Ultima: “Only 67 Calories Per Slice”; and “Kilojoule Controlled Brown Bread”.
Premier Foods referred to the foodstuffs labelling laws and argued only kilojoules is acceptable as a measure of energy for food.
One calorie is equal to 4.18 kilojoules‚ therefore the calorie count of a foodstuff is usually substantially lower than the kilojoule count of that product.
Premier Foods argued South Africans expect to read kilojoules on packaging and may end up buying something because they misread calories for kilojoules.
The legal regulations state “low energy” is anything below 170kJ per 100g. Albany Ultimate is “substantially higher” as it contains 861kJ per 100g.
“Its energy content is more than five times higher than the maximum allowed kilojoule count for ‘low energy’ products.”
Tiger Brands (Albany) hit back and said their bread complied with the regulations‚ which deem kilojoules as the minimum nutritional information packaging must provide. The kilojoules must be listed on the back of the packaging in the nutritional table.
They also said Albany Ultima falls in the “health and wellness” segment of the bread market‚ aimed at lifestyle-conscious consumers.
“They are conscious about calorie density of foods and they try to choose food products that are kilojoule controlled. These are the kinds of consumers who would read food labels.”
Despite their protestations‚ Tiger Brands (Albany) said they will make the following changes to their packaging: Drop the word “only” from the phrase “Only 67 Calories Per Slice”; add the phrase‚ “Portion control to manage dietary requirements”‚ to the disclaimer: “Kilojoule Controlled” and add the words “Calorie Counter” to the top of the image of the calorie counter. The full phrase will now read: “Calorie Counter – 67 calories per slice.”
The ASA said they can only rule if the claims on the packaging are misleading. The department of health administers foodstuffs labelling legislation and the department of agriculture‚ forestry and fisheries has jurisdiction of agricultural foodstuffs.
The ASA ruled the word “calories” by itself was not misleading and the nutritional table on the back of the bread contained the kilojoules.
“Any consumer on a kilojoule restricted diet would be able to access this information easily.”
The ASA accepted Tiger Brands’s undertaking to change their labelling.
BY NICO GOUS – TimesLIVE
Source: TMG Digital