Choice changes tack on labels


Consumer group Choice has revealed why plans for a controversial revamp of its nutrition ratings applied to common household foods such as breakfast cereals, biscuits and soft drinks have met a sticky end.

“To be perfectly blunt, we’ve put our foot in it,” a Choice spokesperson said.

“While we have gone with our fallback position of an updated version of the star ratings system, we originally wanted  a more direct and hard-hitting labeling system,” a spokesperson said.

“Our original design was for a pile of shit to be applied to the packaging of foods that were not healthy for you, and for the shit symbol to grow in size in line with the unhealthiness of the product.

“For instance, wheat-based cereals that are not heavily processed would have a small shit symbol applied to their packaging.

“But cereals like chocolate-covered rice bubbles would have a huge shit on their box, so big it would almost obscure the brand and variety names.

“We workshopped this idea for some months, but ultimately decided we couldn’t go ahead with it.

“It really browned us off because the shit symbols would have summed up so many of these products perfectly.

“But in limited consumer trial we found it was actually encouraging people to buy shit products,” the spokesperson said.

“Our original aim was to encourage healthy eating but it seems more and more Australians are quite happy to eat shit.”