Grocery shop shock: The brands reportedly charging for less

Find out if your favourite foods aren’t quite telling the truth on their labels!

When shopping in the supermarket, we assume we’re being told the truth on the labels we read. Whether that’s the ingredients list or the weight of the product we are purchasing.

But now, a shopper investigation by the Courier Mail has unveiled the levels at which you could be overpaying for some of your favourite brands.

In fact, it reveals the extent to which Queenslanders are paying thousands every year — essentially for nothing.

“We found that 26% of the products that for a family would be in an average weekly shop were weighing under,” Jill Poulson, a reporter from the Courier Mail told Nine News.

During the investigation, 30 products were measured — without their packaging — and each product came in under their advertised weight.

Of those 30 products, the worst offender was revealed to be Fountain Tomato sauce. While it claims to contain 500ml of sauce, when measured in this investigation, it weighed 10% less.

Other brands that reportedly came in under their advertised weight included Smith Crinkle Cut Chips 20 Pack 380grams — which was under weight by more than 10grams at 369grams, while Tamar Valley’s mango yoghurt came in at 173grams, despite the 180grams weight on the label.

Three brands of tinned tuna all came in between 2grams and 7grams under the advertised weight.

“Even if you’re losing 5 or 10% off that weight over a period of a year thats a lot of margin brand manufacturers are creating,” Gary Mortimer from QUT Business School said.

Those who own the Fountain and Tamar Valley brands were asked to respond today.
While Smiths chips owner declared its displayed weights are an average.

Each product is audited annually by the federal government, and last year it dished out more then $70,000 in fines to companies who lied about product weights.

And while charging the same price for less with some products is clearly not the best outcome for consumers — it’s worth keeping in mind that for every product or brand doing the wrong thing, there are plenty of brands out there who are giving that little bit extra.

That includes Weetbix, whose 575gram box actually weighed in at 38grams above the advertised weight in the Courier Mail investigation.

Mortimer explained this is normally done to factor in changes that may occur during shelf life.

“Traditionally manufacturers will put on a little extra just to cover any weights and measures lost they may incur while sitting on a shelf,” Mortimer said.

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