Weetabix has been told to change its key ‘slow release energy’ claim
LONDON Aug 02: It has been a breakfast favourite across the nation for years.
But now, Weetabix has been told to change its key ‘slow release energy’ claim after it was ruled misleading by the advertising watchdog.
Weetabix put together a TV advert which was broadcast in July last year showing a family sitting down to breakfast and comparing their busy days ahead.
The final shot was of a large milk container and bowl of the cereal with a voice-over saying: ‘Packed with slow release energy to keep you going. Weetabix. Fuel for big days.’
Four viewers complained that the claim ‘slow release energy’ was false because they said that that Weetabix had a high glycaemic index (GI) rating, meaning it releases energy and raises blood sugar levels quickly.
In response, Weetabix said the cereal's GI, when eaten with semi-skimmed milk, was tested independently in 2005 with a result of 47.
The British Nutrition Foundation regarded a GI level below 55 as low.
The company claimed that the statement was valid because the ‘vast majority’ of consumers ate the product with milk.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) accepted that Weetabix was a low GI food when eaten with milk but it also concluded that Weetabix had a ‘mid-range’ GI when eaten on its own.
The ASA said Department of Health (DH) guidance such claims should only relate to foods that could not or should not be eaten in any other way, meaning that the Weetabix claim should apply to it as sold and not be reliant on milk being added.