Consumer advocate Choice has singled out “shonky” foods, fridges and finance products at its 14th Annual Shonkys awards.
This year Choice called out food company Freedom Foods over its XO Crunch cereal, which it called a “bag of sugar”.
Choice criticised the marketing of the cereal as “a fun and nutritious way to start your kids’ day”, as the cereal contains 22.2 per cent sugar.
“Choice’s job is to stand up against companies doing the wrong thing. The Shonkys draw upon our unique testing, reviews and advocacy to help you identify the worst-of-the-worst. In a time of fake reviews, cash for comment, salespeople and lobbyists everywhere, it’s more important than ever for independent voices to tell the truth,” said Choice CEO Alan Kirkland.
He said that Freedom Foods XO Crunch cereal is “health washing and marketing a big bag of sugar towards our kids”. Choice criticised the Health Star Ratings system, as the cereal brand has a health star rating of 4 but Choice believes that the high sugar content should see it rated only one and a half stars.
“This Shonky shows why the food industry needs to be kicked out of room when it comes to Health Star Ratings. The food industry has gamed the Health Star system to make a big bag of sugar look like a healthy choice for your kids – and that’s a disgrace,” he said.
Homewares giant Ikea was also criticised for its Nedkyld Fridge, which failed energy tests undertaken by Choice.
“The IKEA Nedkyld is one of the worst fridges we’ve ever tested. Not only is it terrible at keeping your food cold, when Choice tested the Nedkyld’s energy use against its star rating, it failed the test. It’s hard to understand how this fridge is still on sale in Ikea stores, especially with a misleading energy label,” said Choice.
Choice also blasted Kogan for “dodgy customer care” and Medibank ‘Basic’ Cover Health Insurance for “failing at the basics”.
Some netizens took to Twitter to comment on the brands that were criticised by Choice.
Last year, Kellogg’s couldn’t escape the Shonkys, and was called out on the high sugar content in its Nutri-Grain Banana & Honey Smash Protein Squeezer.