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'Victory' tastes sweet in bad taste awards

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 2/12/2016 Daniel Gilhooly

Consumer NZ is calling out nine products in its inaugural Bad Taste Food Awards - saying companies are sweet-talking the health benefits of some of their products.

The awards were revealed on Saturday, with the consumer protection body saying that while things had come a long way since 1955, when 7-Up claimed its lemonade was wholesome enough for babies, companies were still trying to spruik their products as healthier than they are.

Kellogg's Nutri-Grain raised most ire with 63 out of the 200 nominations.

"What riled people was its promotion as 'iron man food', 'a source of protein and fibre' and 'fuel and energy for active teens'. What it actually is, is more than a quarter sugar," said Consumer NZ chief executive Sue Chetwin.

Nestle's Milo was another popular nominee and winner.

"The product's packaging boasts a four-and-a-half star health rating. But Nestle calculated the rating based on mixing the powder with trim milk. If you rate the powder itself, Milo gets a miserable one-and-a-half stars."

The other winners were:

* Heinz Little Kids Fruit and Veg Shredz: aimed at toddlers but nearly 70 per cent sugar

* Pams Strawberry and Blackcurrant Flavoured Superfruit Muesli Bars: Just four per cent strawberry and one per cent blackcurrant juice

* Gatorade and Powerade: 15 teaspoons of sugar in a litre of Gatorade Orange Ice and 11 teaspoons in 750ml of Powerade ION4 Mountain Blast

* Homebrand Fruity Rings: 30 per cent more sugar than in 2008

* Almond milk: some brands don't contain that many almonds. Blue Diamond Almond Breeze was "98 per cent almond-free"

* Wattie's 99% Fat Free Creamed Rice: less fat in the lite version but also an extra teaspoon of sugar

* OVI Hydration: fruit drink marketed as containing "antioxidants from green tea" but the tea extract was only 0.05 per cent.

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