Optimel Vanilla custard tastes like vanilla

Where should the packaging say that a product tastes like the depicted fruit? For a moment it seemed that taste could no longer be mentioned at all! The Advertising Code Committee had – unintentionally – clumsily written this down in the Optimel Vanilla custard case, filed by Foodwatch. Fortunately, however, it has now become clear that taste disclaimers are common on the packaging and can provide consumers with good information.

Real vanilla or vanilla flavor?

On the packaging of Optimel Vanilla Vla it says on the side that it has the taste of vanilla. The word ‘aroma’ also appears on the back of the declaration of ingredients. The packaging has yellow areas, but there are no vanilla pods or vanilla blossoms to be seen. The Board of Appeal has indicated that a product may safely be called vanilla custard if it is clearly indicated that it has vanilla flavour. This will often be on the front of the packaging (but not necessarily). The judgment shows that many products that contain (natural) aromas and not (extracts of) the real fruit that is depicted, now indicate this to the consumer by adding the word ‘flavour’ on the packaging. A good way to inform the consumer.

Friesland Campina says in its press release that it is pleased with the clarity of the statement. At the beginning of this year, it had already announced that it would change the recipe and/or packaging. The (new) yellow Optimel vanilla custard will, of course, still taste like vanilla.

Ebba Hoogenraad represented Friesland Campina in this appeal.

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