3 Dec 2016

Cereal comes out top in Bad Taste Food Awards

3:49 pm on 3 December 2016

Kellogg's Nutri-Grain cereal has taken out the top spot in Consumer NZ's awards for products that market themselves to be healthier than they are.

Kellogg's Nutri-Grain

Kellogg's Nutri-Grain cereal Photo: Kelloggs.co.nz

More than 200 nominations were received for the watchdog's first Bad Taste Food Awards, after it asked consumers to highlight food marketed as healthier than it is.

Chief executive Sue Chetwin said the awards were based on the nominations and its own research.

She said Nutri-Grain was marketed as a healthy option, 'iron man food' and a source of protein and fibre, when a quarter of it was sugar.

"Nutrigrain won it because of the very high level of sugar in it, even though it claims it is 'iron man food'," she said.

Another popular product featured in the awards was Nestlé's Milo.

"The product's packaging boasts a four-and-a-half star health rating. But Nestlé calculated the rating based on mixing the powder with trim milk. If you rate the powder itself, Milo gets a miserable one-and-a-half stars," she said.

Powerade and Gatorade also got awards, the latter of which contained 15 teaspoons of sugar in a litre bottle.

Ms Chetwin said some brands of almond milk and berry museli bars also rated badly, as they contained less than 5 percent of the nuts and fruit depicted on their labelling.

"While almond milk can be good, some brands don't actually contain that many almonds. Blue Diamond Almonds boasts its Almond Breeze product is 98 percent fat-free, but it's also 98 percent almond-free, so if you thought you were getting quite a lot of almonds in your almond milk you certianly weren't."

She said the aim of the awards was to call out food marketers' claims which represent products as being healthier choices.

"We also want the Health Star Rating System to be trusted and what we want food manufacturers to do is see that someone is keeping an eye on the claims that they're making and the health stars that they're able to achieve, and that the regulators will look at that and say 'maybe we've got to change the algorithm on health star ratings."

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