Charity Accuses Major UK Bread Brands of Misleading Marketing

Food welfare charity Sustain has accused the UK's biggest bread brands of misleading shoppers when it comes to marketing the health benefits of their products.

Following an investigation last year into the health claims made by several bread producers including Hovis and Warburtons, the charity's 'A Wholegrain of truth' report is calling for clearer laws on how wholegrain and wholemeal breads are promoted to consumers.

The campaigners claim that bread manufacturers are beguiling shoppers with products branded as wholemeal by regularly using soya flour and refined gluten powder instead of what should be 100% wholemeal in line with regulations.

They further argue that the current regulations are unclear, allowing manufacturers to circumvent the law. To remedy their finding that much of the bread tested was low and in some cases non-existent in wholemeal content, Sustain wants the word 'wholegrain' to have a legal definition in Britain.

Examples of brands they label misleading were Kingsmill Oatilicious, which is marketed as a wholemeal bread but only contain 21% of grain ingredients, and Warburtons White Plus Wholegrain range, which Sustain claim does not have any wholemeal or wholegrain listed in its ingredients.

The UK's Federation of Bakers, which represents the interests of the UK's major baking companies, has however slammed the charity's claims as being "misinformed" and "misleading."

Allied Bakeries, which owns Kingsmill and Allinson, further stated that "no action is required" because shoppers have already been provided with all the information needed on current packaging to make an informed decision.

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