Nestle corrects misleading Vitari labelling

18 July 1997
Nestle Dairy Products has written to diabetes associations throughout Australia that the labelling on its Vitari fruit ice confection may have misled some diabetics as to the latent sugar levels.

The company, part of the Nestle¢ group in Australia, has also given court-enforceable undertakings to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to ensure the correct level of sugar is stated in the nutritional panel on its apricot and tropical flavours of Vitari.

The letters follow a recent investigation by the ACCC which found that the sugar content stated in the nutritional panel on those two Vitari flavours was misleading because it claimed zero sugar per 100 ml serving. However, whilst Vitari contains no added sugar, it does contain naturally occurring sugars present in the ingredients, particularly the fruit, used to manufacture the Vitari. Apricot Vitari contains 13.8 grams of sugar per 100 ml serving and tropical Vitari contains 14.2 grams of sugar per 100 ml serving.

The ACCC considered that the incorrect labelling potentially posed a health risk to diabetics and was likely to mislead other health conscious consumers who rely upon the nutritional information panel. The ACCC concluded that the nutritional panel was false and misleading and at risk of breaching sections 52, 53(a) and 55 of the Trade Practices Act.

In a negotiated settlement with the ACCC, Nestle has moved quickly to alleviate the ACCC's concerns, taking action to:
  • amend the nutritional panel on future Vitari packaging;
  • stop wholesale distribution of the incorrect Vitari packaging;
  • publish explanatory notices in national newspapers and diabetic publications to advise the public, but particularly diabetics, of the actual level of sugars contained in the product; and
  • implement a trade practices compliance program.

"This matter serves as a warning to companies that they should consider carefully both the broad and specific impact of nutritional claims made on product labels," ACCC Chairman, Professor Allan Fels, said today. "Also, companies should move very quickly to correct misleading product labels, especially where consumers' health and well-being might be affected."

Consumers who wish to discuss any concerns about their purchase of Apricot or Tropical flavoured Vitari should contact the Nestle¢ Consumer Information Line on 1800 633 200 during business hours.

Further information

Professor Allan Fels, Chairman, (06) 264 2808 or pager (016) 373 536

Ms Lin Enright, Director, Public Relations, (06) 264 2808 or (0414) 613 520

Release number: 
MR 016/97
ACCC Infocentre: 

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