OPC welcomes $2.25m fine against Heinz for marketing high sugar toddler snacks as 'healthy'

28 Aug 2018

The Obesity Policy Coalition (OPC) has welcomed the Federal Court’s decision to order Heinz to pay $2.25 million for falsely marketing Heinz Shredz as a healthy snack for toddlers.

The decision comes after a ruling from the Court in March that Heinz was misleading consumers with its claims that its Little Kids Shredz products were beneficial to the health of young children.

This result follows legal action from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) against Heinz, after the OPC lodged a complaint in 2015.

OPC Executive Manager Jane Martin welcomed the decision, but said some food companies continue to misrepresent their products as the healthy option for children.

“Food manufacturers should be held to account over the claims they are making to consumers about products for children that are high in sugar.”

The World Health Organization recommends limiting foods containing added sugar, including fruit juice concentrate, to 10 percent of a person’s daily energy intake, and ideally no more than 5 percent (or 6 teaspoons per day) for the biggest health benefit.

The Obesity Policy Coalition alerted the ACCC to the misleading claims on Heinz Little Kids Shredz because they are concerned about misleading claims being made to Australian parents.

“Clearly labelling ‘added sugar’ on the packaging will help parents cut through the marketing spin when they’re choosing healthy snacks for their children.”

Ms Martin said the OPC also wants to see the Health Star Rating System recognise that sugar sourced from fruit is still sugar, and rate products accordingly.