Now it’s time to nominate “Food Scam of the Year”, a title awarded to a product that has simply been a little tricky and misleading.
The price, or rather the “anti-price” as the consumer association Äkta vara itself calls it, engages many. This year, the nominations have hailed in.
– There are clearly more nominations this year. Whether it is due to a pandemic or something else cannot be said, but it can be so, he says Bjorn Bernhardson, business manager at Äkta vara, to News24.
He says that unusually many of this year’s nominations were different types of drinks.
– This year we only have one drink in the final, but there were very many drinks that were nominated. Especially juices, where you sign with what is a little more expensive and more exclusive on the front. But then the juice really contains very little of it.
Anyone has been able to nominate candidates for the shameful award during the past year. Since then, a jury has selected five finalists that the public can now vote on.
All finalists are considered misleading to the consumer.
– It is a product that tricks the consumer into believing something that is not true about it. Companies often take advantage of the fact that stressed customers do not have time to review what the product actually contains. However, it does not have to be misleading in a way that is illegal to qualify as a food scam, says Bernhardson.
Here are the finalists
Swedish honey processing Flower honey, organic
Motivation of genuine goods: If you buy this bottle, you probably assume that the honey is Swedish. The blue-yellow label with the text “Swedish honey processing” creates the impression that it is a domestic product. But in fact, it has been produced in one of the low-cost countries Mexico, Brazil, Bulgaria and Cuba. The name flower honey is also not as strange as it sounds. Most of the honey produced in the world comes from bees that have extracted their nectar from some form of flower.
Pop! Bakery Puff pastry
Motivation of genuine goods: The product is called puff pastry, but nevertheless does not contain the slightest bit of butter. Of course, this should not be allowed, but according to an exception from the EU rules that Sweden has made, it is strangely fully legal. However, the country’s consumers seem to have a completely different view. It shows 21 nominations of just different varieties of puff pastry, which we received in the Food Scam of the Year just last year. Of these, we have selected this one from Pop! Bakery, which is one of the most common in Swedish stores and where the butter has been replaced with sunflower and palm oil.
Herrljunga cider Anno69 apple cider, non-alcoholic
Motivation of genuine goods: This drink exudes quality. It is called “craft cider” and the apples are also “cold pressed”. The bottle is adorned with a golden decoration with text that looks to be handwritten, and the cider maker has even written his name there. But the drink is produced in the cider giant Herrljunga’s factory and Johan Branmark is none other than the Group’s CEO. The content consists of only 25 percent apple juice, which is about as little as in ordinary industrial cider. Only five percent of the juice is cold pressed. In other respects, the drink, like other cider soft drinks, consists of water, sugar, malic acid, preservatives and the little artisanal ingredient apple aroma.
Max Sourcream & pepper dressing
Motivation of genuine goods: When the hamburger chain has started selling its dressing in a regular store, you keep the product name but remove the most important ingredient. This dressing does not contain any sour cream at all. In fact, no dairy product at all, admits the manufacturer’s customer service. The version sold in Max restaurants, on the other hand, includes film milk in the recipe. Not sourcream (sour cream / crème fraiche) either, but at least a little less bluffy.
Estrella Nut mix honey & salt
Motivation of genuine goods: Sugar is ugly, honey fine. Therefore, this manufacturer does its best to make its product as honey-roasted as possible. The word is found in several places on the packaging, where a traditional honey ladle is also depicted. Still, the sweet surface layer of nuts consists mostly of regular sugar. Of 35 grams of sugars, only two meager grams of honey are made up. In other words, there is more honey on the bag than in it.
Here you can vote in the Food Scam of the Year. The competition runs until January 18.
This is how you avoid being cheated
What do you do then, if you do not want to fall into the food scam trap? Björn Bernhardson has a tip that is actually not particularly complicated.
– As soon as you are thinking of buying something you have not tried before: read the back. Spend a minute checking, it is almost always the case that the answer is on the back.
On the back of the product there are always ingredients and country of origin – and a possible scam can be revealed.
The “winner” of the title Food Scam of the Year will be revealed on January 20.
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