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Pack weight threat

CHOICE says 92% of people want to see pack weights maintained on the front of products

20 November 2017

Research from consumer group CHOICE has found 92% of people believe it is important that the weight measurement remains on the front of food products.[1]

The finding comes as the Federal Government's National Measurement Institute has today released a policy statement which appears to prioritise trade over transparency.

"Labels are for consumers not solely to facilitate trade and the research couldn't be clearer, consumers want pack weights to stay exactly where they are – on the front of pack," says CHOICE Head of Media Tom Godfrey.

"While some food manufacturers and cosmetic companies have been lobbying hard to change the current law and remove the weight measurement from the front of pack, we need the Federal Government to stand firm.

"This is one instance where we are asking the Federal Government to do nothing – we don't want them to remove the current requirements.

"The weight measurement displayed on the front of pack is particularly important in stores that are not required to use unit pricing such as smaller supermarkets or convenience stores, chemists and hardware shops. 

"Being able to easily compare the front of pack weights across similar products on shelves allows you to determine value for money," Mr Godfrey says.

In one example, CHOICE pointed to two seemingly identical $5 bottles of Comfort fabric softener. However the front of pack measurement reveals that one is actually 50mL smaller.  

"It seems clear that some sections of industry have waged war on pack weight transparency to help disguise the fact that they are shrinking their packs and reducing value," says Mr Godfrey. 

If you'd like to see pack weights remain on the front of packs, join our campaign:

Media enquiries

Tom Godfrey, Head of Media and Spokesperson - 0430 172 669 - @choice_news

[1] Consumer Pulse September 2017, survey designed and analysed by CHOICE with fieldwork provided by The ORU. The ORU are ISO 20252 and 26362 accredited and are full AMSRO members. The data has been weighted to ensure it is representative of the Australian population based on the 2016 ABS Census data. n=1029