Inaccurate price labelling is usually my territory. Yet similar tricks are played with nutrition and I want to highlight an annoying ploy to make salt and vinegar Discos look less calorific.
Buying crisps in a travel WH Smith is always frustrating, partly because they’re overpriced, but also because it only sells grab-bags. (Really Smith’s, can you not give us choice?)
Now I’m a label checker when it comes to eating, having lost decent weight easily at speed by paying more attention to these things (see my Calorie Saving Expert blog).
Crisps are my weakness, especially the power flavour kickers of salt and vinegar, pickled onion and worcester sauce. Yet I’m far more restrained and rationed than I used to be, so the odd treat is fine.
I saw the Discos, thought nom-nom, picked up a packet and checked the label to see…
As you can see from my phone-pic, it says each 28g serving contains 147 calories. Conspicuously missing anywhere nearby, or on the whole front of the packet, is how much the packet weighs or how many servings it contains.
After spinning it around and searching the back, I found the info. There, not highlighted, not in large writing, it noted that this was a 56g packet.
But how many people buy a packet of crisps and don’t eat the whole thing? Some will be sharing it, but for many the serving is the whole horrid 300 calories (never mind the salt and fat).
So I wanted to see if this was just Discos’ dance to make its bags feel slimmer, or whether it was more widespread. The next grab-bags along were Nice ‘n’ Spicy Nik Naks (yum)…
While labelled the same way, at least on the right hand side, in a huge font, it tells you this is a 50g bag.
Further travel took me to salt and vinegar Walkers…
Hoorah. No nonsense, just the actual calories per pack.
We need consistent food labelling rules
Of course, most people are capable of working out the end result. Yet the whole point of these front of packet information boxes is to make it quick and simple. The three different versions above mean it isn’t that – why should we need do a compare and contrast each time.
Food nutrition stats should be per pack, or per snack (ie, for a packet of biscuits – calories per biscuit).
Far too many just give info per 100g without any indication of what 100g of that foodstuff is. I’ve found packs of chewing gum, which do this without even telling you the pack weight.
While it’s not for a Money Saving Expert to do, someone needs to sort this out.
Please let me know other food labelling nonsense below…