close

2015 Dutch nominees for best misleading labels on groceries

Did you ever buy something at the grocery store, only to find out that the ingredients were not quite what you expected?

Generally speaking, products at the supermarket are presented in an honest manner, but once in a while you can be in for a surprise if you don't carefully read the label. One of the leading supermarkets in the Netherlands sells cranberries, while in reality the product contains 68 percent syrup and 30 percent cranberries. Or what to think of pasta with truffle filling that contains all of 0,0006 percent truffles?

Every year Foodwatch.org, an independent Dutch consumer organisation, picks a number of the most misleading products and lets consumers vote for their favourite one.

The candidates for 2015’s prize

The following products were sold in various Dutch grocery stores in 2015:

Plus Pindakaas Light (light peanut butter)

Plus Pindakaas Light has 30 percent less fat according to the label. Upon closer inspection it also reveals that the peanuts have been replaced by glucose syrup, which according to Foodwatch.org means it actually contains 451 percent more sugar than the regular peanut butter.

AH mini roomboter amandelstaaf (almond-based pastry)

This item would likely not be on this list had the package not been one-third larger than the actual almond-based pastry inside.

Appelsientje halfzoet (apple juice with reduced sugar)

This apple juice is advertised as having half the amount of sugar as the regular kind from the same brand. Not only does it contain 34 percent less sugar instead of the advertised 50 percent, this result was achieved by diluting the apple juice with water and adding a little extra aroma.

Cranberries

It is not uncommon that dried berries have some sugar or syrup added to them to improve the flavour, but these cranberries contain 68 percent of pineapple syrup and only 30 percent actual cranberries.

Liga Milkbreak Melk-Aardbei (children’s milk/strawberry snack)

Anyone who spent some of their childhood in the Netherlands since the early 1980s or has young children here will recognise Liga cookies, the snack that has always been advertised as a healthier alternative.

The label of this specific flavour has nice images of grains and strawberries. Take a closer look at the ingredients, however, and you will see that a Liga biscuit contains a whopping 667 times more sugar than strawberries.

Rude Health Almond Drink Organic

There are many alternatives to milk on the market now for people that are lactose intolerant or have other reasons to avoid cow milk. Almond milk is one of the popular ones, and this particular brand advertises itself as being a "refreshing alternative to milk" with only "everything you need and nothing you don’t". It contains 1 percent of almonds.

Aldi pasta with truffle

Pasta with truffle filling sounds like a nice way to make your dinner a little fancier. Just don’t let your guest see the package, as it turns out truffles make up an impressive 0,0006 percent of this product!

Make your voice heard!

If you would like to vote for your favourite misleading product, you can do that here. The winner will be announced during the first week of 2016.

Thomas

Author

Thomas Lundberg

Born as a Swede in the Netherlands, this life-long expat has spent his time in Belgium, the United States and Amsterdam. He began his professional career as a regional news...

Read more

JOIN THE CONVERSATION (0)

COMMENTS

Leave a comment