‘100 per cent juice’ not quite 100 per cent

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 14th May 2008

The ACCC are making food and beverage manufacturers more accountable for their labelling claims as they continue their crackdown on misleading and deceptive conduct. The latest company to come under scrutiny from the ACCC has been beverage manufacturer, Harvey Fresh.

Harvey Fresh (1994) Ltd has acknowledged the ‘100% juice’ claim on the label of its 250mL Apple & Blackcurrant fruit juice product was wrong and may have misled consumers.

Harvey Fresh had manufactured and distributed the product in Western Australia since January 2008. The product label contained the words ‘100% juice’ and ‘Apple & Blackcurrant’. However, the small print ingredients list on the reverse side of the label indicated the product consisted of apple concentrate, blackcurrant flavour, grape skin extract and colour 466.

Harvey Fresh acknowledges its claims may have misled consumers and that it may have contravened sections 52 and 53(a) of the Trade Practices Act 1974.

The ACCC has accepted court-enforceable undertakings from Harvey Fresh that it will:

* not claim a fruit juice product is 100 per cent juice when the product does not contain 100 per cent juice
* inform its retail customers about the incorrect labelling
* recall the product
* place a corrective notice on its website at www.harveyfresh.com.au, and
* implement and maintain a trade practices law compliance program for its officers and employees.

In welcoming the remedial action, ACCC Chairman, Mr Graeme Samuel, said truth in advertising is important.

“The overall impression of labelling on fruit juice products can have a significant influence on a consumer’s purchasing decision.”

Mr Samuel said consumers are entitled to expect that the actual contents of a product match the overall impression given by the packaging.