One of the imperatives of packaging, whether you’re a homeowner using Packing Supplies in Adelaide to mark boxes or a major company packaging an international product, is to ensure that your packaging is accurate and honest. In the case of the latter, failing to ensure proper packaging can have wide-reaching consequences.
As was the case with international food giant, Heinz, when the Australian Federal Court deemed the packaging for their Little Kids Shredz range, which implied that the snack was a healthy consumable for children when it wasn’t, to be misleading.
The legal battle began in 2017 when a consumer advocacy group accused Heinz of placing deliberately misleading labelling regarding the Shredz range’s nutritional content, which comprises products made with concentrates, fruit pastes, purees and the like. This was big news for Packing Supplies in Adelaide and the local shoppers as the court proceedings were held there, with the counsel for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) assessing the packaging.
In the judgment of the ACCC, made by Justice Richard White, said that that the packaging on the Shredz product range was misleading, falsely implying that the products were healthy to toddlers, as well as making the labelling’s statement that the Shredz product line was “99% fruit and veg”, when, in fact, it was about 60% sugar. The ACCC had decided that Heinz had breached Australian Consumer Law by engaging in “misleading or deceptive” behaviour.
According to the ACCC, each product should have openly stated their sugar content and the effects of consumption as per the WHO’s guidelines.
The rest of the ACCC’s claims, however, were dismissed, saying that consumers should be very much aware that the product would undergo processing; understanding that the products on the labelling would not be in their fresh form, but would, at the very least, be the source for the product itself.
Managing Director Bruno Lino, Heinz, expresses the company’s disappointment with the verdict, but also stated that they respect the outcome. He says that Heinz did not have any intention to mislead their customers regarding the labelling of the Shredz product, which has been unavailable to Aussies since May 2016.