Ad description

An Instagram post for The Skinny Food Co, posted 4 September 2022, featured a video that included clips comparing the sugar content of the Skinny Food Chocaholic Snack Pot to various fruits, including an orange, grapes and an apple. In each clip the Chocoholic Snack Pot had less than a teaspoon worth of sugar placed in front of it, and on-screen text above stated “0.8g Sugar”. The “0.8g” was in green. When the orange was featured, on-screen text above stated “17g Sugar”, and underneath was four and a bit sugar cubes. When the grapes were featured, on-screen text above stated “16g Sugar”, and underneath was four sugar cubes. When the apple was featured, on-screen text above stated “19g Sugar”, and underneath was four and a bit sugar cubes. The “17g”, “16g” and “19g” were in red. The post included the caption “Chocolate that contains less sugar than Fruit?! The Skinny Food Co allows you to continue to satisfy your sweet tooth by indulging in one of our delicious chocaholic snack pots. Meaning you don’t have to remove chocolate from your daily diet! [star eye emoji] #SkinnyFoodCo #NotGuilty”.

Issue

The complainant challenged whether the comparisons between the sugar content of the advertised product and the fruits were comparative nutrition claims that complied with the Code.

Response

Not Guilty Food Co Ltd t/a The Skinny Food Co said that the post had been removed.

They said that it was common for nutrition information to be given per 100ml or 100g alongside the serving size, which, for the advertised product, was 22g. They said that if the video was used again they would amend it so that they were comparing the same weight of food.

Assessment

Upheld

The CAP Code required that only nutrition claims authorised on the Great Britain Nutrition and Health Claims register (the GB Register) were permitted in marketing communications. A nutrition claim was defined as any claim which stated, suggested or implied that a food (or drink) had particular beneficial nutritional properties due to the amount of calories, nutrients or other substances it contained, did not contain, or contained in reduced or increased proportions. Comparative nutrition claims must meet the conditions of use associated with the permitted claim and must compare the difference in the claimed nutrient to a range of foods of the same category. The difference in the quantity of a nutrient or energy value must be stated in the marketing communication and must relate to the same quantity of food. The GB Register stated that a claim stating that the content of one or more nutrients had been reduced, and any claim likely to have the same meaning for the consumer, may only be made where the reduction in content was at least 30% compared to a similar product. The claim "reduced sugars", and any claim likely to have the same meaning for the consumer, may only be made if the amount of energy of the product bearing the claim was equal to or less than the amount of energy in a similar product.

The ad featured a Skinny Food Chocaholic Snack Pot, a bunch of grapes, an apple and an orange alongside text which referred to the amount of sugar each item contained as well as visual representations of their sugar contents using table sugar. The ad included the caption “Chocolate that contains less sugar than Fruit?!”. The ASA considered that consumers would understand the ad to be a favourable comparison between the sugar content of a Skinny Food Chocaholic Snack Pot and the fruits listed. The ad therefore made “reduced sugars” comparative nutrition claims. We considered that a chocolate-based food and fruits did not fall into the same food category and therefore concluded that the comparative nutrition claims breached the Code in that regard.

Additionally, we understood that the advertised product contained 0.9g of sugar per 22g portion, and not 0.8g as was stated in the ad. Per 100g, apples, oranges and grapes contained approximately 12g, 8g and 17g of sugar, respectively. Therefore, the amount of sugar stated in the ad for each of the fruits (17g, 16g, and 19g) related to a much greater quantity of food compared to the advertised product. Because the ad did not compare the sugar contents of the same quantities of food, we also concluded that the ad breached the Code in that regard.

Finally, we understood that, per 100g, the advertised product contained 468 calories and the fruits contained approximately 286, 215 and 152 calories, respectively. Therefore, the amount of energy in the advertised product was considerably greater than the amount of energy in the fruits to which it was compared. We considered the comparative nutrition claims also breached the Code in that regard.

Because the ad included comparative nutrition claims that did not meet the conditions of use associated with the permitted claim, we concluded that it breached the Code.

The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules  15.1 15.1 Marketing communications that contain nutrition or health claims must be supported by documentary evidence to show they meet the conditions of use associated with the relevant claim, as specified in the applicable register. Claims must be presented clearly and without exaggeration.    15.1.1 15.1.1 Only nutrition claims listed in the applicable register┬ámay be used in marketing communications.
Only health claims listed as authorised in the applicable register, or claims that would have the same meaning to the consumer, may be used in marketing communications.
   15.3 15.3 Comparative nutrition claims must compare the difference in the claimed nutrient to a range of foods of the same category which do not have a composition which allows them to bear a nutrition claim.    15.3.1 15.3.1 A marketing communication may use one product as the sole reference for comparison only if that product is representative of the products in its category.  and  15.3.2 15.3.2 The difference in the quantity of a nutrient or energy value must be stated in the marketing communication and must relate to the same quantity of food.  (Food, food supplements and associated health or nutrition claims).

Action

The ads must not appear again in the form complained of. We told Not Guilty Food Co Ltd t/a The Skinny Food Co not to make a comparative nutrition claim between foods that did not fall into the same food category, between different quantities of foods, or between foods that provided less energy than the advertised product.

CAP Code (Edition 12)

15.1     15.3     15.1.1     15.3.2     15.3.1    


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