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False bread claim costs Coles $2.5m

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Coles has been ordered to pay a $2.5 million penalty for falsely advertising “freshly baked” bread when it had been par-baked off-site – sometimes months earlier.

The federal court found the supermarket giant had deceptively represented bread that had been partially baked and frozen off-site, promoting it as “Baked Today, Sold Today” or “Freshly Baked In-Store”.

Coles had already been slapped with a three-year ban preventing it from advertising its bread as freshly baked, and was ordered to display signs saying it had breached Australian consumer law.

Coles said in a statement it did not mean to mislead anybody.

“In talking to customers about our bread range we did not deliberately set out to mislead anybody but we accept that we could have done a better job in explaining how these products are made,” a Coles spokesman said.

Coles changed its packaging and in-store signage last year, the spokesman said.

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