So Choice has just presented the annual Shonky Awards.
These awards are not what business would really like to receive, as they are recognition of some part of product or labelling which is not what it says it is.
This year there were three food related Shonkys awarded;
•Kellogg’s Pringles: awarded because the price went down by 10 cents which was great, but so did the pack and chip size.
•Nestle Milo: awarded because the advertised 4.5 star health rating only applies if the product is drunk with skim milk – with full cream milk the rating drops to 2.5 stars.
•Camel Milk Victoria: awarded because health claims were made which were not permissable.
These awards are not only a wake up call to these businesses but should be a flashing red light to all food businesses that people are watching.
What is on the label must match what is in the product, otherwise there will not only be public humiliation (like these awards) but potential legal ramifications as well.
The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC), which has overall responsibility for labelling and advertising, does not like it when businesses say one thing on their labels or advertising when the reality inside is actually different.
People must be able to trust what is written on the label or stated in the advertisments about the product. It is a matter of life and death, especially for those with food allergens.
Besides getting the labelling wrong can result in one of the worst things for a food business – the product recall.
Labels are a pain to get right, but getting them wrong has serious implications – financial, legal and moral.
It is well worth taking the time to make sure that what is on the outside of the package or in the ad matches what is in the product. It should be a key part of any product development process and should also be revierwed annually to make sure it stays right.
Never ever forget that people are watching.