Australian consumer watchdog takes Heinz to court
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is taking Heinz to court saying it’s misleading parents about the nutritional value of their products for toddlers.
The ACCC has started proceedings in the Federal Court against H.J. Heinz Company Australia Ltd in relation to its Little Kids Shredz products.
“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,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.
“We also allege that rather than encouraging children to develop a taste for nutritious food, these Heinz Shredz products are likely to inhibit the development of a child’s taste for natural fruit and vegetables and encourage a child to become accustomed to, and develop a preference for, sweet tastes.”
Sims said the group wants to make it clear that major companies have an obligation under the Australian Consumer Law to ensure products’ health claims don’t 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,” Sims said.