Woolworths delists infant “fruit juice” following social media outcry
Woolworths has announced it will delist a range of infant fruit juices under the Bebi brand, which have raised concerns from angry parents on the Woolworths Facebook page.
The Bebi fruit drink range claims to be the world’s first infant suitable beverage, and is marketed as being suitable for infants from six months. The juice range in “organic white grape” and “organic apple and banana” flavours is sold in a bottle that comes with a teat, just like a baby’s bottle.
Australia’s consumer watchdog CHOICE reports that last week, midwife and mother Jessica Williams started a petition with Change.org calling for Woolworths, currently the only stockist, to stop selling the Bebi range of drinks, fearing that many parents would see them as “healthy.”
Along with the petition, many parents left comments on the Woolworths Facebook page claiming that the Bebi range will lead to tooth decay, sleeping problems, and unhealthy weight gain.
Woolworths has said that they have consulted with an in-house nutritionist and will be removing the product from its stores over the next few weeks.
Bebi has since issued a statement to clarify that the product is not a substitute for milk, and meets all standards of the Australian and New Zealand Food Standards Code.
“Most people seem to understand that Bebi is not promoting our products as substitutes for breast milk and that our products are recommended for infants over 6 months of age, a time when parents are often trying to introduce their child to new feeding experiences,” a Bebi spokesperson said.
The “organic infant juice” debate follows on from another CHOICE investigation last week which reported on a trade mark loophole being used by Australian brands to promote foods as “organic,” “natural” or “healthy” in the trade marked brand name.