Woolies gives thumbs up to Thankyou

Both Woolworths and Coles have agreed to stock Thankyou products following an intensive social media based marketing campaign.

Coles agreed to stock the brand's bottled water, food and body care lines earlier this week, and following a meeting yesterday afternoon, Woolworths has now signed up to sell Thankyou water and some of its food products.

Thankyou is a social enterprise which donates profits (once business costs are taken care of) to funding water, food and hygiene projects in developing nations.

Thankyou co-founder and MD, Daniel Flynn, said "By bringing the Thankyou range to the 19.5 million customers that pass through Woolies every week, we will be able to make a massive difference for people throughout Asia and Africa, who are in desperate need of safe drinking water, food and hygiene education.

"We're absolutely thrilled and, to be honest, a little amazed at much support we have received from the Australian public in recent weeks."

The two week campaign urging the supermarket duopoly to stock Thankyou's products saw two helicopters, each carrying a 30x30m banner, fly over both Coles' Melbourne headquarters and Woolworths Sydney headquarters.

Over 15 million people were reached through social media, online traffic and traditional media including thousands of posts and videos on both Coles’ and Woolworths’ Facebook walls from Thankyou fans and celebrities such as Jules Lund, Chrissie Swan, Andrew Gaze, Rebecca Morse, Peter Helliar, Nicole Livingstone and Tim Costello.

Vitaminwater health claim case could become class-action lawsuit

A US court case challenging health claims on Coca-Cola's Vitaminwater beverages could proceed as a class-action lawsuit.

According to news.com.au, health advocacy group Center for Science in the Public Interest, together with consumers from California and New York, are accusing Coca-Cola Co of using deceptive labelling on its Vitaminwater drinks, including claims that the product reduces risk of eye disease and boosts the immune system.

Judge Robert Levy said the lawsuit can proceed as a class-action case, and the plaintiffs can seek injunctive relief, which would prevent Coca-Cola from making certain marketing claims, but Levy said the parties can't seek financial damages.

A Coca-Cola representative said the company is "very gratified" that monetary damage claims were denied, arguing that the plaintiffs' claims are without metit and "will ultimately be rejected."

Coca-Cola's attempts to have the case dismissed were rejected on technical grounds in 2010, with the Judge at the time, John Gleeson, arguing the beverage company's claims violates Food and Drug Administration labelling rules and that sugar isn't identified as a key ingredient, although itis listed in the nutrition information on the bottles.


Voluntary system ineffective in curbing junk food ads: global review

The effectiveness of a voluntary approach to limiting junk food ads targeting children is being called into question, with surveys from around the world showing the industry has done little to change its ways.

A review in scientific journal, Obesity Reviews, examined children's exposure to advertisements for food and drinks high in sugar and fat, and found that independent surveys in Europe, Asia, Australia and North America showed little change in the last five years.

This is despite the industry assuring it would change its ways, and also in contrast with industry-sponsored reports indicating a 98 percent or higher compliance with their self-regulations.

The report's senior author, Dr Tim Lobstein, said "Five years after companies announced their voluntary pledges to limit advertising of junk food to children we find the industry has not done enough. While the companies report that self-regulation has worked just fine, the evidence collected by independent researchers and government agencies shows that children continue to be exposed to junk food advertising at high levels."

According to Lobstein, there are a number of issues with the industry's findings. Companies are only considering what they themselves advertise, not everything children watch. They also don't consider advertisements from companies that haven't committed to self-regulation, only look at children's TV programs, not family programs, and use their own criteria for judging what's appropriate to advertise to children.

The review found that the UK's ban on junk food advertising during children's TV programs is effective, however junk food ads during family programs have actually increased since the ban came in, Lobstein said.

"Self-regulation simply does not work in a highly competitive marketplace," he said. "Asking the companies to restrict their own marketing is like asking a burglar to fix the locks on your front door. They will say you are protected, but you are not."

The reviews findings come just weeks after cereal manufacturer Kellogg was reprimanded for marketing unhealthy foods to children.

The Advertising Standards Board upheld a complaint made by the Obesity Policy Coalition in regards to Kellogg's 'fun facts' ads.

The ads, which will now be withdrawn, feature animated dinosaurs, snails and children's voices. The ABS found they primarily target children and are in breach of the Responsible Children's Marketing Initiative.

The Obesity Review's report mirrors findings from a study conducted by the University of Sydney and the Cancer Council last year, which found that the number of junk food ads aimed at children hasn't slowed, despite the Australian Food and Grocery Council introducing the Responsible Marketing to Children Initiative.


Choice applauds crackdown on ‘organic’ water

Consumer watchdog, Choice, has announced its support of a recent crackdown on organic claims on water bottles.

The ACCC has directed seven companies to remove organic claims from their bottled water products, with an eighth supplier choosing to remove its brand from the market.

The affected brands include Active Organic, Lithgow Valley Springs Organic, Nature's Best Organic, Organic Australia, Organic Falls, Organic Nature's Best and Organic Springs.

The ACCC's finding followed negotiations with the manufacturers, who as a result, will avoid enforcement action.

The water brands must be amended because their organic claims are misleading and could be unjustly used to command a higher price at the checkout, the ACCC found.

The findings are based on the fact that water cannot be organic, as the term relates to agricultural farming ptactices, and water is not an agricultural product.

Choice spokesperson, Tom Godfrey, said "A word like organic is a trigger word to shoppers – it implies health benefits.

"This is a very popular term for food marketers. There are currently more than 300 products on the market trademarked as ‘organic’. It's time for manufacturers to stop relying on healthy-sounding words to boost product sales."

Last month Choice announced that bottled water is costing Australians 2000 times the price of conventional tap water – up to $3.88 for a litre of bottled water, compared to a fraction of a cent for the tap alternative.


Consumers shouldn’t assume ‘baked’ means fresh, says Coles

Defending allegations it misled consumers by masking imported bread as freshly baked products, Coles says consumers shouldn't assume 'baked' means 'baked from scratch.'

The supermarket giant told the Federal Court that standard industry practice could become an issue in proving whether consumers believe bread from Coles' bakeries is baked fresh on-site, AFR reports.

In order to properly defend the allegations brought forward by the ACCC, Coles needs to prove that the average consumer should or would assume that the word 'baked' means something other than 'baked from scratch.'

In June, the ACCC launched legal proceedings against Coles for supplying bread that's partially baked and frozen off-site, transported to Coles stores, ‘finished’ in-store and then promoted as ‘Baked Today, Sold Today’ and/or ‘Freshly Baked In-Store’.

While the ACCC claimed Coles actions create an unfair playing ground for those bakeries genuinely baking fresh products daily, the supermarket chain claims par-baked products are "commonly offered" for sale in supermarkets, fast food outlets, bakeries and restaurants.

Coles also explained that certain bread labels stated the product was 'Made in Ireland.'


Dairy Australia launches Legendairy ad campaign [video]

The dairy industry is moving away from promoting individual products and towards showcasing the industry as a whole in its latest communications initiative, Legendairy by Dairy Australia.

Set to launch nationally on 4 August, Dairy Australia's first major campaign in six years  will put the spotlight on Australia's dairy farmers, the quality of the foods they produce and their contribution to the Australian economy.

Legendairy will see see advertisements air across all mediums with extensive below the line support ranging from public relations to grassroots sponsorships and visibility in Australia's eight regional dairy communities as part of an initial three year strategy.

While recent experiences in the UK have indicated that generic advertising has a direct impact on dairy sales, Dairy Australia's group manager for industry promotion and product innovation, Isabel MacNeill, said the Legendairy campaign is about more than driving sales.

"It's all about giving the industry a well deserved boost," she said. "We want to tell the story of Australia's dairy industry and it doesn't stop at just milk.

"In the face of recent tough times, Australia's dairy farmers have continued to grow and care for their $4 billion dairy industry," said MacNeill.

"The Legendairy campaign will champion the dairy industry, sharing stories of innovation, provenance and personal triumph. We believe this focus will connect the farming community with its consumers."

The campaign initially delivers eight advertising executions across television, print, digital, radio and an exclusive sponsorship of the Melbourne Victory versus Liverpool FC match on 24 July.



Cadbury teams up with Woolworths for latest Joyville campaign

To celebrate the launch of its new Marvellous Creations products, Cadbury has teamed up with Woolworths and created a new ad for its Joyville campaign.

The new Cadbury Dairy Milk Marvellous Creations Banana Candy, Peanut Drops and Choc Biscuit will be available exclusively at Woolworths stores from 10 July.

The supporting ad campaign comprises a 15 second TV commercial as well as a presence in print, out-of-home, point of sale and digital.

The campaign idea, conceived by Saatchi & Saatchi Sydney, asks chocolate lovers to get involved and vote on whether or not the new Marvellous Creations should stay on shelves.

In the TV commercial, the Joymobile is seen driving down a winding country road before the driver hits a purple button on the dashboard and a box slides out the back door and is left behind on the road.

Next, a Woolworths truck pulls up and the driver opens the box, revealing the new Cadbury Dairy Milk Marvellous Creations products, along with a call to action to vote.

Ben Wicks, general manager marketing chocolate for Cadbury Dairy Milk, said he's excited by the new campaign.

"We are proud to be working with Woolworths on a market-leading campaign that creatively weaves the Joyville story with the Woolworths fresh food people messaging to deliver a TVC and 360 degree campaign that is quirky, playful and unique. We are confident our customers will absolutely love this new Marvellous Creations product and vote to keep it as part of the range permanently," he said.

You can view other Cadbury Marvellous Creations ads here and here……and here.


Baiada busted for misleading ‘free to roam’ claims

Baiada Poultry and Bartter Enterprises, the processors and suppliers of Steggles chicken products,  misled consumers by claiming their chickens were "free to roam", when really their movements were restricted to an area comparable to an A4 sheet of paper, a court has found.

Following a complaint by the ACCC, the Federal Court found the companies misled consumers by using the term "free to roam" in its marketing campaigns.

The Australian Chicken Meat Federation, the peak industry body for Australia’s chicken meat industry, was also found to have engaged in false, misleading and deceptive conduct by claiming on its website that chickens produced in Australia were ‘free to roam’ or able to ‘roam freely’ in large barns. 

The court found that the ordinary and natural meaning of the phrase ‘free to roam’ is “the largely uninhibited ability of the chickens to move around at will in an aimless manner.” However, Justice Tracey found that at times in their growth cycle the chickens “could not move more than a metre or so (at most) without having their further movement obstructed by a barrier of clustered birds."

Steggles' statistics indicated consistent stocking densities of between 17.4 and 19.6 chickens per square metre. The ACCC alleged that at these densities each chicken, on average, had access to floor space which was less than the size of an A4 sheet of paper and that this was contrary to the representation that they were ‘free to roam’.

The industry has stopped using the 'free to roam' term, but questions still surround the legitimacy of a similar claim – 'free range.'

The ACCC announced earlier this year that it would be placing special attention on credence claims in the food industry including free range claims, country of origin labelling and the labelling of olive oil.

There's been growing interest in the case to clearly define – and introduce standards for – free range labelling. In May, Human Society International delivered 40,000 postcards to the prime minister at the time, Julia Gillard, in protest of the continued mislabelling of free range eggs.

Lee McCosker, chief operating officer for Humane Choice, the certification scheme launched by HSI, said consumer's are becoming increasingly frustrated with misleading labelling and Australia's big retailers and industry bodies, including the Australian Egg Corporation, aren't taking their concerns seriously.

"They have attempted to take advantage of the consumer’s limited knowledge of egg production systems while toying with their concerns for hen welfare and reaping a premium for mislabelled eggs," she said.

HSI has been urging the federal government to take action by legislating a national standard for free range eggs.

South Australia is leading the way here, setting an industry code in June and defining free range eggs as coming from hens stocked at 1,500 birds per hectare.

The proposal, McCosker says, will encourage supermarkets to make a broader selection of eggs available to consumers.

"I believe this industry code will actually bring clarity to the free range confusion and those producers that are meeting consumer expectation will stand out from the crowd. Consumers will then be able to decide if they are willing to pay a little more for what they want, or accept eggs grown under a more intensive operation.  The choice will be made a lot clearer," she said.

Other brands penalised for making misleading claims include Luv-a-Duck, which has been accused of deceptive conduct by claiming its ducks are ‘grown and grain fed in the spacious Victorian Wimmera Wheatlands’, when it's been found the animals didn't have substantial access to outdoors.

Fellow duck producer, Pepe's, was fined $40,000 late last year for misleading its consumers and was told it may no longer use the slogan 'grown nature’s way' or 'open range' on its packaging or in its marketing.

Its logo of an 'open range' duck walking towards a lake must also not be used for a period of three years unless it is accompanied by the phrase 'barn raised.'


IGA enters price wars with new ad campaign [video]

IGA joins supermarket giants Coles and Woolworths in the battle for lowest prices, with the launch of a new advertising campaign featuring an animated padlock.

The TV advertisements features brand ambassador Anh Do, as well as an animated padlock, 'Lockie'.

The campaign, which will run across online platforms, point of sale marketing and catalogues, confirms IGA's entry into the supermarket price wars, dropping and locking prices on 1,000 products for three months.

According to Mumbrella, the campaign will be followed by a series of price cuts on hundreds of other products.

Both Coles and Woolworths have launched advertising campaigns promoting their reduced prices, with Coles' adding more than 40 new products to its Down Down range in May this year.



Kellogg’s a cereal offender in marketing to children

For the second time in two weeks, cereal company Kellogg's has been reprimanded for marketing unhealthy foods to children.

The Advertising Standards Board has upheld a complaint made by the Obesity Policy Coalition in regards to Kellogg's 'fun facts' ads, ABC reports.

The ads, which will now be withdrawn, feature animated dinosaurs, snails and children's voices. The ABS found they primarily target children and are in breach of the Responsible Children's Marketing Initiative.

The coalition's spokeswoman Jane Martin she hopes the cost of making the ads, only to have them withdrawn, will be a deterrent for other food manufacturers.

"Obviously these advertisements won't be able to be run any more, it's a big cost to them," she said.

Martin added that the self regulation of junk food advertising isn't working, and called on the government to step in and regulate how food is marketed to children.

"What we need to do is call time on self regulation, this has been in place for four years and industry still aren't managing to abide by the rules that they set up, they're still marking their own homework," she said.

In October last year a study by the University of Sydney and the Cancer Council found that the number of junk food ads targeting children hadn't slowed, despite the introduction of the Responsible Marketing to Children Initiative.

Kellogg's said it was unaware of any consumers making complaints about its TV advertisements.

"As with the Coco Pops advertisement, the ASB didn't receive any complaints from consumers about this LCMs advertisement, but just the one from a lobby group.

"Nonetheless we fully respect and accept the role of the ASB and its decision," Kellogg's said in a statement.


Coles fined $61,000 for country of origin claims

Coles has paid six infringement notices totalling $61,200 for allegedly misleading representations about the country of origin of fresh produce in five stores.

The stores are located across Queensland, NSW, Western Australia and the ACT and the infringement notices refer to claims made between March 2013 and May 2013.

The fines follow an investigation by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission after a complaint was made that Coles had displayed imported navel oranges and kiwi fruit under a board which read 'Helping Australia Grow' and accompanied by the Australian Grown symbol.

The ACCC also discovered the same signage at a number of Coles stores promoting the sale of imported asparagus and almonds.

While the overseas country of origin was correctly identified either by stickers on the produce, on its packaging or under the display bin, the ACCC says the signage gave consumers the impression the produce was Australian grown.

"Consumers should be able to rely on the accuracy of claims about food, particularly when they are prepared to pay a premium for products made in Australia. Misleading country of origin claims can also have a significant impact on the competitive process and hurt the local economy," ACCC chairman, Rod Sims, said.

"While this does not appear to be a case of widespread or systemic conduct, ‘Helping Australia Grow’ is a significant national campaign driven hard by Coles to advertise its fresh produce. This is a lesson to all retailers that they need to take care when undertaking significant advertising campaigns to ensure consumers are not misled by those campaigns."

According to Coles, the misrepresentation of imported produce as Australian grown was unintentional – the result of stock being relocated within stores but not the corresponding promotional imagery.

This isn't the only instance which has seen the supermarket giant fall under the gaze of the ACCC.

Just last month the competition regulator launched legal proceedings against Coles for engaging in false, misleading and deceptive conduct in the supply of bread that was particually baked and frozen off-site, then transported to Coles stores, 'finished' in-store and marketed as 'Baked Today, Sold Today' or 'Freshly Baked In-Store'.

The ACCC is also investigating the conduct of both Coles and Woolworths in regards to their dealings with suppliers, amid accusations both supermarket chains use bullying tactics to force prices down.


Share a Coke campaign success thanks to supply chain flexibility

A representative of Coca-Cola Amatil will attend the upcoming Smart Conference and Expo to shed light on why the Australian-born Share a Coke campaign was such an enormous success for the brand.

The hugely successful campaign which saw people's names or year of birth printed on Coke bottles and cans was such a sales and marketing triumph it has since been replicated in around 20 markets across the world including in Brazil and China.

CCA's director of supply chain, Bruce Herbert, will be attending the upcoming Smart Conference and Expo in Sydney, telling attendees how he convinced executive leaders to abandon conventional supply chain teachings, cast aside asset optimisation, big run printing and truckload deliveries to enable customers to purchase a personalised beverage.

Herbert says that despite the campaign having a massive production and logistics footprint he always knew it would be a success.

"We had faith in our suppliers and our own business and took it on as a challenge. Our suppliers in particular modified their own processes to meet our demands and the whole campaign drove innovation that is now being copied by global markets," he said.

"The campaign demonstrated that the supply chain can contribute positively to the profits of a company, acting as profit driver rather than a cost centre."

Herbert will be joined at Smart 2013 by Angela Tatlis, chair of the National Association of Women in Operations (NAWO), for a presentation titled ‘Death to the Big Batch Paradigm’ that will share what CCA was thinking with the Share a Coke campaign, what the campaign entailed and why it was a success.

Tatlis will discuss how diversity of thinking drove the CCA campaign.


ACCC launches action against Coles for misleading bakery claims

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has launched proceedings in the Federal Court against Coles.

The ACCC is alleging Coles has engaged in false, misleading and deceptive conduct in the supply of bread that was partially baked and frozen off-site, transported to Coles stores and ‘finished’ in-store. The products were then promoted as ‘Baked Today, Sold Today’ and/or ‘Freshly Baked In-Store’ at Coles stores with in-house bakeries.

The legal action covers various ‘Cuisine Royale’ and ‘Coles Bakery’ branded bread products.

The ACCC alleges that labels on these par baked products stating ‘Baked Today, Sold Today’ and in some cases ‘Freshly Baked In-Store’, and nearby prominent signs stating ‘Freshly Baked’ or ‘Baked Fresh’, were likely to mislead consumers into thinking that the bread was prepared from scratch in Coles’ in-house bakeries on the day it was offered for sale.

Coles also uses these same representations to promote bread that has been made from scratch in Coles’ in-store bakeries. A statement issued by the ACCC says it is "concerned that Coles’ lack of distinction in its promotional representations between bread products that are freshly prepared from scratch and par baked products is misleading to consumers and places competing bakeries that do freshly bake from scratch at a competitive disadvantage."

ACCC chairman Rod Sims said, "There are two important issues at stake. First, consumers must be able to make informed purchasing decisions. Bread is an important grocery basket staple and customers need to be confident in claims made about food they buy.

"We believe consumers are likely to have been misled by Coles that the entire baking process, including preparation, occurred in-store, when in fact the bakery products were prepared and partially baked off site, frozen, transported and then ‘finished’ in store. Indeed, the Cuisine Royale products were partially baked overseas.

"Second and just as important, is the detrimental impact on the businesses of competitors. Misleading credence claims can undermine the level playing field and disadvantage other suppliers. In this case those suppliers are the smaller, often franchised bakeries that compete with Coles," Sims said.

In a statement issued by Coles, the supermarket expressed its intention to "vigorously defend the action brought against it by the ACCC. 

"Coles has only just become aware of the ACCC legal action and will fully examine the ACCC statement before making any further comment," the statement reads.


Diet Coke brings back Hunk campaign [video]

To help celebrate its 30th anniversary in Australia, Diet Coke is bringing back its iconic 90s Hunk campaign.

The campaign will see the hugely successful Gardener television commercial his Australian screens, and will also give away $100,000 as part of a partnership with Woolworths.

Consumers will be asked to vote for their favourite Hunk – the star of the UK commerical Andrew Cooper, or the Australian Hunk, Matt Wilson.

To win their share of the $100,000, consumers need to buy any Diet Coke product from a Woolworths outlet, enter online via Diet Coke Australia's Facebook page, and vote for their preferred hunk.

"Girls everywhere remember the iconic Diet Coke Hunk advertisements and we’re excited to bring him back for the 30th anniversary of the brand,” said Pamela Wyatt, Diet Coke marketing manager.

The Diet Coke Hunk campaign will run until June 30 through multiple touch points including the rollout of the TVC, cinema, digital, in-store point-of-sale, social media, experiential activations and the exclusive promotion with Woolworths.



Cadbury defends joyville after The Checkout slams campaign

In light of recent criticism from consumer rights program The Checkout last week, Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate has defended its new ‘generous blocks’ campaign.

The program which aired on the ABC last Thursday featured a fictitious complaint letter from a disgruntled consumer, claiming that the new Joyville campaign was misleading consumers.

The program highlighted the fact that the Cadbury Dairy Milk Blocks range had originally been reduced from 250gms to 200gms, only for the Joyville campaign to increase the blocks by 10 percent to 220gms.

The complaint letter stated that the slight increase, or 'generous improvement' as Cadbury describes it, was a somewhat insulting attempt at compensation for the original reduction in size.

 “A miserly 20 gram mitigation so soon after unceremonious stripping away 50 gorgeous grams is trumpeted as offering 10 per cent more joy — THE HIDE,” the fictitious letter said.

According to mumbrella, Cadbury defended the campaign by stating that the RRP price had not changed with the increase in size, but did not comment on the original 50gm decrease.

“In today’s climate, it is not often you see companies delivering more value to their customers and we are thrilled to be bringing more joy to Australians in any way we can,” said Julia Fraser, Kraft Foods corporate affairs manager.

“We are very proud of our ‘10% more joy’ campaign, with the majority of our blocks increasing from 200g to a new 220g pack, without a change to the recommended retail price (RRP) which is terrific value.”

Throughout the programs season, The Checkout has targeted the marketing activities of leading consumer brands and retailers, including accusing supermarket giants Coles and Woolworths of producing copycat products under their private label brands.



Vegemite celebrates 90 years with new campaign [video]

This year marks the 90th anniversary of Kraft’s iconic Australian spread, Vegemite.

A new advertising campaign titled “Start with Vegemite”, aims to reconnect Australians with the popular spread by reminding consumers that Vegemite provides a nutritious and delicious start to the day.

The campaign, which is the first from the brand since 2011, will highlight ways that Australians can utilise the spread as part of a healthy breakfast routine including spreading Vegemite on sourdough topped with a poached egg and adding avocado and lemon to a piece of Vegemite toast.

The campaign will also remind consumers of the spread’s nutritional credentials by emphasising that it is one of the world’s richest sources of B vitamins.

The campaign will be complemented by two new 30 second TV commercials directed by Bruce Hunt of Matrix fame, which will showcase fresh and appetising ways to consume the Australian breakfast classic. The first of the commercials will air tonight (27 May) on prime-time television.

The campaign will combine the TV commercials with above the line, digital and PR activity, as well as promotion through the brands website, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest accounts.

Mike Waddington, general manager marketing (foods), said that the new brand direction will demonstrate inspirational ways to eat Vegemite as part of a delicious breakfast.

“To ensure Vegemite maintains pride of place at the Australian breakfast table, we have also chosen to elevate the nutrition credentials of Vegemite through the broader campaign, re-engaging and reminding Australians that Vegemite is an important part of a healthy breakfast in Australia,” he said.




UK manufacturer to license Unilever’s wet sauces in Australia and NZ

Leading UK convenience food manufacturer, Symington’s, has announced that it has reached an agreement to license Unilever’s wet sauces portfolio in Australia and New Zealand.

The agreement, Symington’s first major international venture, will see the manufacturer taking on three brands from Unilever: Chicken Tonight, Raguletto and Five Brothers.

The three brands will continue to be produced at Unilever’s factory in Tatura, Victoria. 

Symington’s director of business development, Henrik Pade, said he’s pleased to have the opportunity to re-introduce Australia to the well-known brands.

“There are many similarities between the Australian and UK markets, and we will be drawing on our successful experience nurturing brands and developing the wet sauces category in the UK to surprise and delight our retail customers and the consumers in Australia,” he said.

Symington’s acquired Chicken Tonight and Raguletto from Unilever UK in August 2011 which resulted in average brand growth of 15 percent year on year, boosting the category to a value of £540m in the UK.

With a successful UK track record behind it, Syminton’s believes that it will be able to reinvigorate the brands in the Australian and NZ markets by utilising new product innovations and marketing initiatives.

Symington’s plans to grow its convenience foods business throughout Australia with both branded and private label products.


Liquorland slammed for ‘patronising’ drinkers

The Coles owned liquor chain, Liquorland, has been accused of patronising residents of Maylands, Western Australia by suggesting alcoholics can't understand advertisements' small print.

Liquorland was appealing an earlier rejection of a big-barn liquor store in Maylands and in addition to also losing its appeal, the brand was slammed by Supreme Court Justice James Edelman for suggesting nearby residents of homeless shelters wouldn't be affected by its advertising because they wouldn't understand the small print.

According to thewest.com.au, Justice Edelman referred submissions by Coles' lawyers as "breathtaking".

"There was evidence that Liquorland's website promised that 'if you find a cheaper liquor price anywhere, we'll beat it'. In a breathtaking submission before the Liquor Commission (that was repeated on this appeal), counsel argued that the small-print conditions upon these promises of cheap alcohol by his client (such as availability of stock by a competitor, verification of price etc) were such that disadvantaged or marginalised persons would not be able to meet them," he said.

Lisa Baker, local MP, said Coles' comments were patronising.

"Whatever possessed them to think that vulnerable people didn't have the intellectual capacity to cross the road to take advantage of their lower prices," she said.

"It was stupid."


Coles launches recipes app

Coles launched the new ‘Feed Your Family App for iPad’ on Wednesday, offering customers access to 400 new recipes developed by chef, Curtis Stone.

The app provides free weekly updates of specials at Coles and recipes of the specials. It also includes step-by-step video demonstrations with Stone preparing his favourite Feed Your Family Recipes.

“With over 400 recipes, the Coles Feed Your Family App for iPad will transform mealtimes across Australia, helping Aussies make exciting meals and save money everyday,” Coles spokesperson Anna Kelly said.

To celebrate the launch of the app, Stone hosted an interactive online cooking show, Cook & Win with Curtis where he cooked his fettuccine with mushroom Bolognese.

The session with Curtis can be seen on the Coles website and via the Coles Facebook page.

Viewers can enter a competition to select the secret ingredient and win an opportunity to have Stone cook for them and their friends in their own home.

Competition closes April 17 and the winner will be drawn on April 24.

The Coles Feed Your Family campaign, with Stone, is running between April 10 and May 7 on print, T.V., radio and online.

Treasury trimming wine calories for US market

Treasury Wine Estates are aiming at the one in five Americans on a diet by re-entering the thriving low-calorie wine market in the United States.

The SMH reported they are launching three slim wine brands recommended by a celebrity nutritionist.

The makers have sourced grapes from its northern Californian vineyards to manufacture wine that has up to one-third fewer calories than normal wines.

The company’s new Skinny Vine label has seemingly sold 100,000 cases since launching in January.

 It is aiming to break into a multibillion – dollar market area characteristically made up of women who enjoy a drink but are conscious of their weight.

 Formal global wine arm of brewer Foster’s is also looking into this theme.

Skinny Vine follows the success of other low-calorie brands such as the Skinnygirl ready-to-drink range of cocktails, produced in 2009 by television reality star Bethenny Frankel. This was later sold to spirits company Beam Global for roughly $US64 million.

These wines and cocktails were made based on market research showing up to 80 per cent of women are unhappy with their physical appearance, that 20 per cent of Americans are on a diet or are monitoring calorie intake and that majority of alcohol are bought by females in America.

''We call these consumers 'calorie avoiders', aged 21 and up, female, and they are counting calories, probably currently dieting. Being attractive to the opposite sex is important to them and they try a lot of new diets,'' Treasury marketing vice-president Tom Smallhorn said.

He added the Skinny Vine wines, a chardonnay, white zinfandel and moscato, had between 7 to 9 per cent alcohol content and 86 to 95 calories per glass.

They are backed by Los Angeles nutritionist and author Christine Avanti and have a retail price of $US7 to $US10 a bottle.

Treasury created a low-calorie wine, a slim chardonnay called White Lie in 2004 through its US winemaker Beringer. But it was pulled from the market due to unsatisfactory sales.

In Australia, Lindeman’s Early Harvest launched five years ago. The range includes a rising collection of reds, whites and sparkling wines that use grapes from south-eastern Australia. The wine has 25 per cent less alcohol and calories.

It has struck a chord with an older demographic in Australia, drawing men and women who want to remain slim and do not want a hangover the next day.