Unilever fined over paddle pop puff

Arvind Hickman
By Arvind Hickman | 11 July 2016
A schoolyard favourite does not get the canteen's tick of approval.

Rainbow Paddle Pops and Paws Pizza Supreme Rice Snacks are not school canteen approved tucker, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has ruled.

The consumer watchdog has fined Unilever and Smith's Snackfood Company $10,800 each for making misleading claims without a sufficient disclaimer.

Both products claimed the snacks were canteen approved with logos plastered on packaging. They also included a disclaimer that the products met the 'amber' criteria of the National Healthy School Canteens Guidelines in small-sized font on a different side of the packaging to the logos.

The 'amber' rating means products should be selected carefully rather than eaten regularly in large amounts.

“The ACCC believes both companies were using logos to claim that these products were a healthy option for school canteens to supply to children, when they were not,” ACCC commissioner Sarah Court said.

“School canteen managers, parents and caregivers rely upon product packaging and labelling when choosing healthy snacks for children. The ACCC is currently examining consumer protection issues around ensuring that the health claims made by large businesses are accurate and will not mislead consumers.”

Unilever and Smith’s have paid the penalties and informed the ACCC they will stop using the logos on their product packaging.

It's not just paddle pops and rice crisps that have fallen foul of the ACCC in the past month. In June, Heinz was called out over misleading claims about its Little Kids Shredz product range for toddlers.

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