Australian consumer watchdog finds Arnott's Biscuit sat fat claim misleading

By Douglas Yu

- Last updated on GMT

Arnott's misleading fat content claim. Photo credit: ACCC
Arnott's misleading fat content claim. Photo credit: ACCC

Related tags Nutrition

Arnott's Biscuit has agreed to remove a "75% less saturated fat" claim from packs of its Shapes Light & Crispy after the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) found it misleading to consumers.

The products contained around 60% less saturated fat than the original Shapes, prompting the ACCC to issue an infringement notice to Arnott’s, alleging the company had broken the Australian Consumer Law by making false or misleading representation about the composition of Shapes Light & Crispy.

Arnott’s said the “75% less saturated fat​" claim had actually referred to a comparison with “potato chips cooked in 100% palm oil​”, but acknowledged this had not been made sufficiently clear to consumers.

The business also acknowledged ACCC concerns about the appropriateness of this comparison where approximately 80% of potato chips available in Australia are not cooked in palm oil. Arnott’s said it believed consumers were familiar with this claim due to its long term use on some potato chips.

Ironic action

Australian Food & Grocery Council legal and regulatory director Chris Preston told BakeryandSnacks it was “somewhat ironic​” the ACCC had taken action in relation to a product that had significantly less saturated than its original version.

 “The ACCC’s responsibility is consumer protection rather than nutrition​,” he said, adding the ACCC had acted in this case as it recognized the high degree of trust consumers placed in product claims.

Preston said the costs of paying an ACCC penalty notice – in this case $51,000 - and associated measures could often be less than the legal costs of challenging the ACCC in court.

Sat fat concern

Common foods that are high in saturated fats include biscuits, cakes, pastries and processed meats, according to Australian Dietary Guidelines. American Heart Association suggests that eating foods that contain saturated fats can raise the level of cholesterol in one’s blood, and many foods that are high in saturated fats can be high in calories as well.

Healthier option

"In strict legal terms, Arnott's accommodation with the regulator​ (ACCC) involves no admission of guilt​,” he added.

He said he believed consumers did not buy treat products expecting them to be healthy, although might want to choose a healthier option. “I think most consumers would consider even a 60% reduction in saturated fat to be healthier in this sense​,” he said.  

The Arnott’s case would serve as a timely reminder to the broader food industry of the importance in ensuing label claims are accurate and appropriate, concluded Preston.

Arnott’s added that, although the fat content claim has been removed from packs, the product recipe and ingredients remain the same. 

Related news

Related products

show more

Elevate your snacks with novel cheese flavours

Elevate your snacks with novel cheese flavours

Content provided by Givaudan | 23-Feb-2024 | Product Brochure

Aside from conducting desk research to understand snacking preferences and taste profiles among consumers in the Asia Pacific, Givaudan also embarked on...

How Korean culture penetrated the APAC food industry?

How Korean culture penetrated the APAC food industry?

Content provided by BIOSPRINGER, natural Yeast ingredients | 17-Jan-2024 | White Paper

Korean food is on-trend in Asia. We mainly find Korean taste in noodles, sauces & dressings, pickled condiments, ready meals and savory snacks.

Empowering Women Through the Life Cycle

Empowering Women Through the Life Cycle

Content provided by Glanbia Nutritionals | 07-Nov-2023 | Product Brochure

As discussions around female empowerment widen, and advances in women’s health access and provision accelerate, the implications for business, healthcare,...

The World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit, Dubai, Dec 4-5

The World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit, Dubai, Dec 4-5

Content provided by World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit Dubai | 01-Nov-2023 | Event Programme

The renowned World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit has been taking place since 2013 in London, San Francisco and São Paulo. Now launching in the Middle East,...

Related suppliers

Follow us


View more

Food & Beverage Trailblazers

F&B Trailblazers Podcast