Court bans Coles from making dodgy credence claim

CHOICE has welcomed news that the Federal Court has banned Coles for three years from advertising that its bread is made or baked on the day it was sold and is calling on consumers to come forward with other crazy credence claims they have identified.

“Credence claims such as ‘freshly baked’ or ‘baked today’ can lead consumers to pay a premium in the mistaken belief they are purchasing a superior product,” says CHOICE Head of Media Tom Godfrey.

“Consumers should have confidence that there is truth in product labels. The Court decision over Coles’ conduct is a step forward for consumers and sets a very strong standard that misleading and deceptive representation will not be taken lightly.”

“The average consumer would have found Coles’ ‘Baked Today, Sold Today’ and ‘Freshly Baked In-Store’ claims hard to swallow when it was revealed that breads were actually partially baked and frozen as far away as Ireland, then shipped to Australia and finished off in-store months later.”

“The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), which brought the case to court, successfully argued that labelling of the not-so-freshly-baked-bread was likely to mislead consumers into thinking the bread was prepared from scratch in Coles’ in-house bakeries on the day it was offered for sale,” Mr Godfrey says.

This is the second win for consumers delivered by the ACCC in the past week, with a NSW egg producer being fined for misleading representation in its labelling and promotion of eggs as ‘free range’.

“Consumers put a lot of faith in credence claims made by the supermarkets and major food companies,” says Mr Godfrey.

“With the CHOICE Shonky Awards just weeks away we are asking consumers to report any dodgy credence claims they have found when walking the supermarket aisles,” Mr Godfrey says.

To report a dodgy credence claim visit Public nominations close at midnight on Tuesday 30 September.

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