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Berri to fix misleading product claims

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Media release 21 January 1999


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Berri to fix misleading product claims

An ACCC investigation into Berri Limited ’ sJabelling and advertising practices has resulted in Berri giving a court-enforceable undertaking to the Commission. Berri has agreed to change its claims in relation to its new product ‘Frusion’ to reflect the fact the product is a blend of reconstituted juices and purees and is not made from 100% whole fruit as stated on the label and in advertising.

The Commission’s other concern was with the descriptions on the front labels of the Frusion drinks, for example ‘strawberry raspberry frusion’, when the principle ingredient in the products is actually reconstituted grape juice.

Berri claimed the Frusion product was made from 100% whole fruit. Advertising showed containers filled with whole fruit. Written underneath the advertisement were the words ‘From 100% whole fruit, not just the juice’. Labels also stated the product was from 100% whole fruit.

The Commission was of the view and Berri acknowledged ‘that consumers may have been misled about the product’s contents’. Section 52 of the Trade Practices Act prohibits business from engaging in conduct that may mislead or deceive consumers.

Berri has given the ACCC a section 87B court-enforceable undertaking that it will:

• not advertise Frusion as being produced from whole fruit; • change the label by 10 February 1999; • publish corrective notices in newspapers, acknowledging that consumers may have been misled about the contents and offering refunds;

• remove all currently displayed point of sale advertising; and • pay a contribution to the Commission’s costs in this matter.

ACCC Acting Chairman, Allan Asher, said, ‘This is the third time the ACCC has taken action against Berri in relation to the misleading labelling of fruit juice products. The two previous occasions were in 1996 and 1997.

‘The ACCC takes a very serious view of potentially misleading statements about the composition of common consumer goods, as many consumers place great reliance on what the advertising and labelling of a product says when considering what purchase to make.

‘In this instance the Commission was also concerned to protect the interests of other fruit juice manufacturers who compete against Berri.’

Consumers who consider they may have been misled by the labelling or advertising and can verify their purchase should contact Berri on 1800 131 133 for a full refund of the purchase price.

The Commission wishes to acknowledge that once this matter was drawn to Bern’s attention Berri acted quickly in ceasing advertising for the Frusion product and in cooperating with the Commission in offering the above undertakings.

Further information Allan Asher, Acting Chairman (02) 6243 1138 MR 5/99 03/02/1999