A press ad for Morrisons stated in large print "Fresh bread, baked from scratch in our stores, every day". Contained in smaller print, the ad stated that bread is baked in store "using traditional methods".
The ad contained images of bakers hand moulding and preparing dough as well as two separate images of baked loaves of bread.
The complainant challenged whether Morrisons' claim that they used "traditional" methods in their baking was misleading, because they believed only three out of the 40 varieties of bread Morrisons stocked were baked using a method that the complainant believed to be traditional, and those three varieties of bread were not contained in any of the pictures used in the ad.
Morrisons said that their in-store 'scratch' baking process was used to bake all of their bread in small batches using 16 kg bags of flour. Morrisons asserted that they used the 'traditional method' of mixing flour, water, yeast and other ingredients and proving the dough before it was baked.
Morrisons said they did not use either high speed mixers or the Chorleywood high speed mixing process to bake their bread. Morrisons explained that dough was mixed by a spiral mixer for roughly 10 minutes to develop it and although the dough was not hand kneaded, certain breads were hand moulded. Morrisons said that their bread is not part baked in industrial plant bakeries by a third-party supplier, as is the case with other retail bakers.
Morrisons said that all of their bakers were trained using the in-store 'scratch' baking process at their academy and trained in the processes of hand rolling, shaping, flouring, scoring, plaiting and moulding. Morrisons said the images in the ad showed real scenes from in-store bakeries and all of the images showed bread made by the in-store 'scratch' bread making process, which is the process used to bake 60 varieties of bread throughout Morrisons' stores.
The ASA noted that Morrisons sold bread that was baked by in-store 'scratch' bakeries and that this process involved mixing flour, water, yeast and other ingredients and proving the dough before it was baked. We also noted that Morrisons' bakeries baked up to 60 varieties of bread and rolls using this process. We acknowledged that this bread was not part baked in industrial plant bakeries and did not use the Chorleywood high speed mixing process. Despite not kneading the dough by hand, we considered that consumers would consider Morrison's in-store 'scratch' baking method as traditional, because it used traditional ingredients and did not utilise modern industrial processes, other than using a low speed mixer to mix the ingredients.
We considered that consumers were likely to consider that bread part baked in industrial plant bakeries or baked using the Chorleywood high speed mixing process was not baked using traditional methods. However, neither of these methods were used by Morrisons. In this context therefore, we concluded that consumers would not be misled by Morrisons' claim to bake their bread using traditional methods.
We investigated the ad under 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) but did not find it in breach.
No further action necessary.