False representations by Arnott’s Biscuits Ltd
Between 5 October 2014 and 13 July 2015, Arnott’s manufactured, marketed and supplied a range of savoury biscuits under the brand name “Shapes Light & Crispy”.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) raised concerns that statements made by Arnott’s on the packaging of Shapes Light & Crispy represented that it contained 75% less saturated fat than the original Shapes savoury biscuits, when that was not the case. In fact, Shapes Light & Crispy contained approximately 60% less saturated fat than original Shapes savoury biscuits.
The “75% less saturated fat” claim was made on the packaging of five varieties of Shapes Light & Crispy and was promoted nationally on television, internet, print media and at point of sale.
In making the statements, Arnott’s intended to compare Shapes Light & Crispy to potato chips cooked in 100% palmolein oil which was referenced in smaller text at the bottom of the front of pack.
In response to concerns raised by the ACCC, Arnott’s admits that its conduct was likely to contravene the Australian Consumer Law because it was not made sufficiently clear to consumers that Shapes Light & Crispy was intended to be compared to potato chips cooked in 100% palmolein oil, rather than the original Shapes savoury biscuits. Arnott’s also acknowledges the ACCC’s concerns about the appropriateness of this comparison in circumstances where approximately 80% of potato chips available in Australia are not cooked in palmolein oil.
Arnott’s has paid five infringement notices totalling $51,000 and provided a court enforceable undertaking to the ACCC that it will not engage in similar conduct in the future.
Corrective Notice placed and paid for by Arnott’s pursuant to a section 87B undertaking accepted by the ACCC.
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