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Heinz denies sugary snack claims

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Food giant Heinz is denying allegations by Australia’s consumer watchdog that it promoted a sugary snack marketed for toddlers as healthy.

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The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has started legal proceedings in the Federal Court against HJ Heinz Company Australia Ltd in relation to the promotion of Shredz.

It alleges Heinz is falsely marketing these products as healthy options for young children, when they are not.

In a statement, Heinz said it strenuously denied the ACCC allegations and looked forward to defending its position.

“Heinz takes labelling of products very seriously and complies with all Australian labelling and food laws,” it said.

It also said the product was no longer on the market.

The Shredz product range includes three varieties – peach apple and veg, berries apple and veg, and strawberry and apple with chia seeds – and they are predominantly made from fruit juice concentrate and pastes.

“These products contain over 60 per cent sugar, which is significantly higher than that of natural fruit and vegetables – for example, an apple contains approximately 10 per cent sugar,” ACCC chairman Rod Sims said.

The ACCC also alleges the Heinz Shredz products are likely to inhibit the development of a child’s taste for natural fruit and vegetables.

-AAP

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