CHOICE announces the “Shonky” awards for “Australia’s worst” foods
Australia’s leading consumer group CHOICE announced its 7th annual Shonky awards yesterday crowning the serving sizes of Toblerone chocolate bars and Nature’s Way Kids Smart Natural Medicine range, “the shonkiest products” in the food and beverage category, during the past 12 months.
While Shonky award winners may not be breaking laws or breaching regulations, CHOICE believes that consumers deserve better products and services.
Toblerone’s 400g bar was humorously described as a “logistical nightmare” for those following the serving information on the label which states there are 16 servings, but only contains 15 pieces. But it wasn’t just the 400g bar that was awarded a Shonky. Toblerone’s dodgy serving sizes spread across the entire range. The 200g range has 15 pieces and 8 serves and the 50g has 11 pieces and 2 serves.
The implication is that smaller serving sizes convey the misleading impression that the “per serve” kilojoules/calorie count is lower than it actually is. Providing information on extra “serves” on the label, inconsistently with the amount of pieces making up the whole product allegedly could be misleading.
The Nature’s Way Kids Smart Natural Medicine range, with variants for colds and flu, hay fever and runny nose, pain and fever, and for calming kids down has already been feather-whipped by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) for making unsubstantiated claims about the uses and effectiveness of the products. Now, CHOICE awards it a Shonky for allegedly “selling water for upwards of $1000 per litre and claiming it is medicine.”
Other winners include Exit Mould and Coles Ultra Mould Remover “which leave mould roots entrenched in grout to sprout another day”; the Jetset Travelworld Group for some of the unexpected terms and conditions in their contracts; a water-wasting Samsung washing machine; and the high surcharges of Ticketek and Ticketmaster.
The 7th annual Shonky awards, held in Sydney, also awarded Shonkys to Liquipel, a $99 product “that promises, but fails, to provide additional water protection for mobile phones and tablet computers”, and Cabcharge for their 10% credit card fee, which CHOICE says is excessive.
CHOICE spokesperson Ingrid Just said that Shonky awards were a reminder that businesses ought not provide misleading, less than truthful or dangerous products to consumers.
“The dishonour of potentially receiving an infamous Shonky encourages businesses to provide the fairest and best quality products and services into the market,” Ms Just said.
Voting has now opened on the CHOICE website to decide which of these Shonky award recipients is the “shonkiest” product of 2012.