Heinz Toddler Snack Said To Be Misleading Parents Into Thinking Its Healthy

As consumers, we tend to trust the information labels on our food products – especially when it’s from a brand that we have known and trusted for decades but now there’s an allegation that things aren’t always as they seem.

Popular food giant Heinz is being taken to court by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for making false and misleading claims on its Little Kids Shredz products.

The ACCC alleges that the product is presented as a healthy food with the same nutritional value of fruit and vegetables. It also alleges that Heinz could, in fact, be misleading parents.

The product is marketed as a way to introduce children between the ages of 1 and 3 years old to eating healthy and it is also promoted as being “99 percent fruit and vegetables”.

The packaging of the product is also covered in images of fresh fruit and vegetables but the actual content is more than 60 percent sugar. An apple, in contrast, is only 10 percent sugar.

ACCC chairman Rod Sims said “If you look at something saying it’s 99 per cent fruit and veg, which it prominently displayed – most people would think that’s fairly low in sugar,”

“An apple is about 10 per cent sugar [but] these products are between 60 and 70 per cent sugar.”

The ACCC’s action, which has been filed in the Federal Court, follows a complaint by the Obesity Policy Coalition (OPC) regarding products mostly made from fruit juice concentrates and pastes. These type of products are usually much higher in sugar than whole fruit and vegetables.

There are three varieties of the Shredz range:

  • peach, apples and veg,
  • berries apple and veg, and
  • strawberry and apple with chia seeds.

The products have been for sale in all major Australian supermarkets from August 2013.

The ACCC is seeking to have Heinz publish a correction and have the products withdrawn from sale.

Hayley Malan

Hayley Malan is a full time working Mom and freelance writer. She gets her inspiration from her own experiences as a mother.

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