Chupa Chups takes top spot in “dodgiest” claims awards

The makers of Chupa Chups lollipops have been declared winners of the ‘Dodgiest Junk Food Claim’ of 2011, receiving more than twice the number of votes than other claims in a poll devised by the Children’s Food Campaign.

The confectionery company won the dubious acclaim for an animation on its website which, says the Children’s Food Campaign, implies that its yellow lollipops are produced from lemon juice— in reality they contain just 3% fruit.

Around 1,000 people were asked to vote on which of five of the most ‘dodgy junk food claims’ nominated by campaign group was the most misleading.

The results were:

Winner: Perfetti Van Melle
Claim: Implying in an animated video on its Chupa Chups website that its yellow lollipops were made from only real lemon juice, when they contain just 3% fruit.

Runner up: British Soft Drinks Association
Claim: Claiming on educational materials for children, “variations in climate and reduced sunshine levels can affect the crop, so small quantities of sugar may need to be added to achieve desired sweetness.” The Children’s Food Campaign commented: “Many sweet drinks contain very large amounts of sugar, which is nothing to do with climate”.

Third place: Britvic Soft Srinks
Claim: Claiming on an educational ‘learning zone’ website for children, “dentists believe insufficient saliva, a side effect of not drinking enough, may be a major cause of tooth decay”. The Children’s Food Campaign commented: “There is no without mention that soft drinks often also contain sugar and are also often acidic, which are major causes of dental decay and erosion.”

Fourth Place: Coca Cola
Claim: Claiming under the brands section of its website, “spring waters with fruit juice, and enriched with minerals and vitamins”. The Children’s Food Campaign commented: “Only three out of eight of the products in this range contain any form of fruit (and of the 3 that do, it is in the form of fruit concentrate).

Fifth place: Ferrero UK
Claim: Stating in a TV advert for Nutella that “Each 15g portion contains two whole hazelnuts, some skimmed milk, and cocoa”. The Children’s Food Campaign commented: “(The ad does not tell) parents that the product also contains high amounts of sugar.”

The Children’s Food Campaign has complained to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) about what is says are the four most misleading claims. Kawther Hashem from the group said: “It is unforgivable that junk food companies not only relentlessly target children, but also often shamelessly mislead the public with half-truths and made up so-called facts. If ever there was a time to regulate an industry out of control, it is the junk food industry and now – we call upon the Government to live up to its responsibility to protect children and the wider public.  We want to see consistent advertising regulations and vigorous enforcement across all forms of media.”