Choice sizes up food packaging

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Consumer watchdog Choice has targeted front of pack quantity statements, urging consumers to “look past the flashy brands and bright sales signs.”

“Retailers often try to trick consumers with fancy branding, celebrity spruikers and bold marketing claims on packaging so one of the best ways to work out how much you are getting for your money is to look at the quantity measure, ” said Choice Head of Media, Tom Godfrey.

“Similar looking products often have vastly different quantities.”

To demonstrate the value of quantity statements, Choice bought similar products that looked like they were a similar size.

“Our comparison of two similar grocery baskets found that by paying attention to the quantity statements, shoppers can save money and take home more breakfast cereal, laundry powder and snacks,” Godfrey said.

“We found although Mission Chips and Doritos look similar, Misson Chips give you an extra 55 grams of corn chips while their rival load you up with extra air. Arnotts get in on the act too with its White Chocolate Tim Tams serving up the same pack size and price as its much loved original Tim Tams but containing two fewer biscuits.”

The comparison comes following a National Measurement Institute review of almost 35,000 prepackaged items in 2013-14, which found numerous examples where product weights weren’t properly labelled. On average, 14 percent of prepacked items were not labelled in accordance with trade measurement law.

All products were purchased at Woolworths in Marrickville, NSW on 14 January 2015.