Homebrand put to the test

The advertising campaigns being run by Coles and Woolworths showing support for Australian suppliers and producers are not reflected in the supermarket home brand products shoppers are finding on the shelves, says consumer watchdog, Choice.

Choice compared the country of origin of 360 products across 90 popular grocery lines, including cereals, biscuits, snacks, tinned goods and frozen packaged food, matching supermarket home brand products against their market leader equivalents.

The survey found 55 per cent of Coles’ home brand products and 38 per cent of Woolworths’ home brand products were locally made or grown, compared with 92 per cent for market leader grocery items.

“While it’s clear that Coles and Woolworths support Australian produced products in the fresh food and bakery sections of their stores, it’s a different story when you walk along the aisles,” said Choice spokesperson, Ingrid Just.

Choice review of the country of origin of packaged, tinned and frozen items found 13 of the 14 Woolworths home brand frozen vegetable products were sourced internationally.

Additionally, 19 of Woolworth’s 21 private label tinned fruit and vegetable products came from overseas.

This year Coles have moved towards including more Australian produce across its frozen goods, however the Choice review found nine of the supermarket’s 13 tinned home brand fruit and vegetable products came from overseas.

“Australian shoppers rate local products highly many feel it’s important to know the food they are buying is made from Australian ingredients and packaged in Australia.

The policies and advertising of the big two supermarkets taps into that sentiment, but what you find on the shelves is quite different,” Just said.

Choice says clearer country of origin labeling would help consumers make more informed decisions, because it will help them better understand where the produce they buy comes from.

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