Showing posts with label coles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label coles. Show all posts

Saturday, January 17, 2009

home brand

Exposed: home brand deception - National -

COLES will overhaul its food branding and change its labelling claims in the face of mounting criticism from consumers and health experts over alleged misleading and unethical practices.

The giant supermarket chain has spent more than two years defending its SmartBuy and You'll Love Coles logos against allegations of piggy-backing off the Australian Heart Foundation's well-known heart tick symbol - and possibly duping consumers in the process.

Yesterday, the day after the Herald notified Coles it was planning to publish an analysis of the supermarket's generic brand food products and labelling practices, the company said it was gradually phasing out its trademark tick, an exercise that could cost the company tens of millions of dollars.

The company denied it was removing the tick as a response to customer complaints or public pressure.

"[The logo] never intended to imply that the products are endorsed by the Heart Foundation, and we don't believe it conveys that impression," a Coles spokesman, Jim Cooper, said.

"However, under the new Coles management team our house-brand imagery is being progressively redesigned, and the tick will not be part of the new packaging."

The Herald's analysis found that many of the budget-priced SmartBuy foods featuring the prominent red tick on a white circular background (as opposed to the foundation's white tick on a red circular background) had significantly higher levels of saturated fats, and in some cases higher levels of dangerous trans fatty acids, than their pricier You'll Love Coles shelfmates.

In the case of hamburger patties there were 20 per cent more saturated fats in the SmartBuy product, while in the two Coles home-branded peanut butters, the cheaper product had almost 70 per cent more saturated fat.

At Woolworths stores, where far fewer Home Brand products compete with the retailer's more upmarket Select brand, the difference in saturated fat content in the few products that were comparable was less marked. The exception was a canola-based margarine with double the saturated fat content.

Moreover, Coles brands of canola and vegetable oil which use a second logo (a red heart-shaped symbol similar to the Heart Foundation's logo) to promote the products' "cholesterol free" properties actually raise cholesterol levels when consumed, due to the exceptionally high level of trans fats in the products.