Friday, 26 April 2013

Ranty Friday - misleading labels

I've never joined in with Ranty Friday on this blog before - mostly because craft and food are two things that make me feel calm and relaxed, not the least bit ranty. Usually.

If you don't know what Ranty Friday is about, it's hosted by Mummy Barrow and gives bloggers a weekly chance to let off steam - if there's something you'd like to get off your chest, why not join in?

My rant was sparked off when I was out for a day and stopped to  have a sandwich lunch. As I paid, my eye lit on the posh crisps, strategically placed by the till, where it's all too easy to be tempted to buy. "West Country Bacon & Cream Cheese" they shouted, while in smaller print they added "flavour potato chips". Now I know plenty about food labelling, and I know that the word "flavour"  means that a product doesn't have to include the ingredient whereas "flavoured"  means it does, but who has time for semantics when they are hungry? And anyway, the words "West Country"  gave them extra allure -after all, who ever heard of "West Country flavouring"? For added reassurance, "100% Natural" was emblazoned across the bag.

So I sat down to enjoy my treat. Uh-oh, as I opened the bag, I noticed "Suitable for vegetarians". Now I have nothing against vegetarians, for several days a week I'm one myself, but none of the full-time vegetarians I know eat bacon (or at least they don't own up to it in public). So I took a look at the list of ingredients.

Potatoes, oil, salt, flavouring, dried cream cheese, dried yoghurt, whey powder, sugar, colour.


I know that by using the word "flavour" they are keeping within the law, and that bacon flavour is suitable for vegetarians,  but I think the use of the words "West Country" makes the label misleading. What exactly is West Country about it? How can it be West Country Bacon if there's no bacon from anywhere in it? Is the bacon flavouring made in the West Country? If so, does  it make it any better or worse than bacon flavouring made anywhere else?

I have to admit I rather enjoyed the crisps - but the pack left a bitter taste in my mouth!


  1. Think I`ll settle for my favourite Kettle lightly salted (on special offer usually)I usually find other brands are too heavily salted for me

  2. Grrrrrrr

    isnt there some daft story that Walkers chicken crisps are suitable for veggies as they dont have anything vaguely chicken about them?

    I wrote about something similar last year about a vanilla smoothie that was less than 0.1% vanilla.

  3. My rant would have to be being served by someone chewing gum. Bad enough in Sainsburys, but yesterday several in the bank were chewing away like cows. Should be banned when at work

  4. Isn't it great to have a chance to have a 'rant' about something like this. We consumers are often exposed to this sort of mis-representation, but feel helpless - having already purchased the product. Also you would think that there would be more benefit in being open for the manufacturer. After-all, you say you enjoyed the chips, but I'm guessing you might think again about buying that brand next time. Whereas, if you had not been misled into expecting something that wasn't there (West Country bacon) you would have no issue with the packaging. I also get annoyed when the ingredients are listed in tiny print so I have to go home and get my glasses to make an informed decision ... but that is another issue :-)
    Cheers, Dianne


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