18 June 2014
In a victory for common sense and consumers, the Federal Court has today ruled that Coles breached the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) with its “freshly baked” bread claims.
“The average consumer would have found Coles’ “Baked Today, Sold Today” and “Freshly Baked In-Store” claims hard to swallow when it was revealed that breads were actually partially baked and frozen as far away as Ireland, then shipped to Australia and finished off in-store months later,” says CHOICE Head of Media Tom Godfrey.
“The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), which brought the case to court, successfully argued that labelling of the not-so-freshly-baked-bread was likely to mislead consumers into thinking the bread was prepared from scratch in Coles’ in-house bakeries on the day it was offered for sale.
“Rightly or wrongly consumers put a lot of faith in claims made by the supermarkets. Whether we are told something is an everyday low price, a special, or ‘fresh’ and ‘free-range’, it’s always worth asking if there is any substance to the claim.”
“This is a real win for consumers. CHOICE hopes it will make corporate giants think twice before spuriously labelling or advertising their goods.”
The court found that Coles breached three sections of the ACL. It faces fines of up to $1.1 million per breach.