Supermarket trick you're likely to fall for

Supermarket trick you’re likely to fall for

Australian shoppers are becoming increasingly aware of what products they are buying and where they are coming from.

Many of us want to do as much as we can to support local products and businesses, which is why some shoppers are drawn to products with the Australian Made, Australian Grown (AMAG) logo.

The logo may only be used on products sold by Australian Made Campaign Ltd. are registered and meet the criteria of the Australian Consumer Law and the AMAG Logo Code of Practice.

“It is Australia’s most trusted, recognized and widely used country of origin symbol and is underpinned by a third party accreditation system that ensures products bearing the logo are certified as ‘genuinely Australian’,” states the Australian Made Campaign website.

However, many buyers may not realize that a product bearing the Australian Made logo does not mean it is owned by an Australian company.

A product can still qualify for the official Australian Made logo, but it could be an international company reaping the profits from the sale.

Kristy Ponting, general manager of local brand certifier Australian Owned, told that there was “little transparency” when using the term “made in Australia”.

Surprisingly, products with the logo don’t even have to contain Australian ingredients.

“Made in Australia doesn’t guarantee Australian ownership, of course, but it also doesn’t guarantee that the product contains a single Australian ingredient,” Ms Ponting said.

She said this could be extremely misleading to shoppers who think they are helping to support local businesses.

“The majority of consumers assume the product contains Australian ingredients when they see ‘Australian made’ and some assume it is an Australian-owned company,” she said.

“As a result, unfortunately, these misleading marketing techniques are often successful in convincing the consumer to buy the ‘Made in Australia’ product.”

Australian Owned hopes not only to encourage Aussies to be more conscious of the produce they put in their shopping trolleys, but also wants the government to introduce new regulations on the produce stocked in our supermarkets.

They are calling for supermarkets to be required to allocate a percentage of top shelf locations to Australian and manufactured produce.

Mark Caine, Massel’s director of sales and marketing, said many Australians are unaware that profits from Australian-made products could go directly abroad.

“Some companies use the ‘Australian Made’ logo or say their products are made in the country of Victoria but foreign owned,” he said.

“This is misleading in the context of Australian Owned as it misleads the buyer into thinking the brand is 100 per cent Australian when in fact the profits go overseas.”

Mr Caine said the only way to know if a product is truly Australian owned is to read the label and look for the word ‘owned’.

“A lot of supermarket brands do a good job of supporting a local beef producer or fruit grower and they market that well, but don’t seem to think that giving the same support to Australia’s packaged food producers is going to elicit the same positive and emotional response from their brand,” he said .

According to Ausbuy research, only 15 per cent of the products that end up in shoppers’ shopping carts are actually Australian-owned.

In recent months, a growing number of popular Australian brands have been acquired by international companies.

One of the last big brands to leave Australia was Victorian-style based Patties Foods, which owns Four’N Twenty, Herbert Adams, Boscastle, Nanna’s and Leader.

Vesco Foods – which owns On the Menu, Super Nature, Lean Cuisine, Annabel Karmel and Jarraballi – was also purchased.

The Company also offers commercial catering services under the 7 Star, Clever Cuisine and Enrico’s brands.

Patties Foods and Vesco Foods were both bought by Pacific Alliance Group, which is based in Hong Kong but also has offices in Australia.

The price was reportedly more than $500 million.

Other brands that have been sold to foreign companies and conglomerates include:

• Arnott’s, which was bought by US Campbell’s Soup Company and then resold to US mutual fund KKR

• Uncle Toby’s, owned by Swiss-based Nestle

• Fosters Beer, owned by the Japanese company Asahi

• Tooheys owned by Kirin

• RM Williams, which was sold to LVMH in France before being bought back by mining magnate Andrew Forrest and his wife Nicola through their Tattarang company

– with NCA NewsWire

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