Claims on www.lovetaste.co, promoting a smoothie range, included "How to make a Smoothie …1. Pour 200ml of apple juice into your blender 2. Add your Love Smoothies Fruit pouch 3. Blend for 30 seconds 4. Serve 5. Slurrrp and Enjoy! ... The Good Bits: Each one gives you 2.5 of your 5-a-day. Only takes 30 seconds to blend. Just add juice - we recommend apple. No need for ice. 2 year shelf-life for the frozen food pouches. No wastage (and no icky fruit fly infestations)".
The complainant challenged whether the claim "Each one gives you 2.5 of your 5-a-day" was misleading and could be substantiated.
Love Taste Co provided a link to information about eating fruit and vegetables on a government website. While they acknowledged that government guidance stated that fruit juice, regardless of the amount, did not count as more than one portion of fruit per day, they explained that it did not limit the number of fruit and vegetable portions in a smoothie drink. They said that the NHS guidance advised 80 g of fruit and 150 ml of fruit juice were each equivalent to one of the five daily recommended portions, and their smoothies consisted of frozen, chopped, uncooked fruit and vegetables weighing 140 g, which was then blended with 200 ml of juice. They provided a list of their smoothie recipes and the amount of fruit in each pouch and explained that the amount of raw fruit and vegetable in their smoothies, once the juice was added, was 20 g less than being three portions. They also provided a technical report by the World Health Organisation and highlighted the section that referred to eating fruit and vegetables, pointing out that no reference was made to juices or smoothies, and a link to an online article about the launch of a competitor smoothie range, in which a government department was quoted as saying they could not stop companies creating their own five-a-day logo and criteria.
The ASA considered that consumers would understand the claim "Each one gives you 2.5 of your 5-a-day" to mean that the each smoothie pouch, when blended with fruit juice, would provide two and a half of the daily recommended portions of fruit and vegetables, in accordance with the government criteria. While we noted the pouches contained a combination of 140 g of fruits and vegetables and the ad advised adding 200 ml of fruit juice, we noted only three of the pouches contained 80 g or more of one variety of fruit or vegetable, which we understood, according to government guidance, was a requirement if more than one of the five recommended portions was to be declared for smoothies. Government guidance also required that the juice was a different variety of fruit or vegetable than the other ingredients in the pouch in order to qualify as an additional portion. However, we noted the ad did not make it clear that the juice needed to be from a different type of fruit or vegetable from those in the pouch ingredients, or state that at least 150 ml of juice should be added, or that juice should be 100% fruit or vegetable juice, which were also requirements of the government's five-a-day criteria. Because not all of the pouches qualified as one and half portions of fruit and vegetables, according to the government five-a-day criteria, and the ad did not make the variety, type or amount of fruit or vegetable juice that should be added clear, we concluded that it was misleading.
The claim breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules
Marketing communications must not materially mislead or be likely to do so.
Marketing communications must not mislead the consumer by omitting material information. They must not mislead by hiding material information or presenting it in an unclear, unintelligible, ambiguous or untimely manner.
Material information is information that the consumer needs to make informed decisions in relation to a product. Whether the omission or presentation of material information is likely to mislead the consumer depends on the context, the medium and, if the medium of the marketing communication is constrained by time or space, the measures that the marketer takes to make that information available to the consumer by other means. (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) and 3.11 3.11 Marketing communications must not mislead consumers by exaggerating the capability or performance of a product. (Exaggeration).
The ad must not appear in its current form. We told Love Taste Co to ensure that claims about the number of recommended portions of fruit and vegetables in their products were not misleadingly exaggerated.