Three ads for EAT sourdough toasties:
a. The EAT website www.eat.co.uk, seen in November 2015, included a page which gave information about their “New Sourdough Toasties” and how the bread was made.
b. A video from EAT on YouTube seen in November 2015 included descriptions of the products as “New Sourdough Toasties”.
c. A regional magazine ad seen in September 2015 featured an image of a 4-cheese toastie and stated “The ultimate 4 cheese sourdough toastie”.
The Real Bread Campaign (Sustain) challenged whether the use of the term “sourdough” was misleading, because they believed the bread might not be made using only the traditional sourdough ingredients and method.
EAT Ltd said that there was no fixed definition of sourdough bread, but as this bread used a live bacterial starter culture they believed it could be described as a true sourdough product, both in terms of the ingredients and the way the bread tasted, looked and felt. They provided a technical product specification from the bread manufacturer and a process flow chart for the product. The product ingredients included sourdough and a small amount of commercial yeast and the manufacturing process included using a mixer.
The ASA understood that there was no fixed legal definition of sourdough bread in the UK. We considered that consumers were likely to interpret the claim “sourdough” as meaning that the bread contained sufficient amounts of sourdough to distinguish the bread from non-sourdough products. In this case the bread contained a significant percentage of sourdough as an ingredient. Whilst we noted that it also contained a small amount of commercial yeast, we understood that this was not uncommon in commercially produced sourdough bread, and did not consider that this would affect the average consumer’s perception of the bread as sourdough. We also did not consider that consumers would infer from the term that only traditional manufacturing methods, such as kneading entirely by hand, were used. We therefore concluded that the use of the term “sourdough” was not misleading.
We investigated the ads under CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 3.1 Marketing communications must not materially mislead or be likely to do so. (Misleading advertising) and 3.7 3.7 Before distributing or submitting a marketing communication for publication, marketers must hold documentary evidence to prove claims that consumers are likely to regard as objective and that are capable of objective substantiation. The ASA may regard claims as misleading in the absence of adequate substantiation. (Substantiation) but did not find them in breach.
No further action necessary.