Suddenly claims that they do not sell natural sweets – Food Pharmacy

In an open letter to natural candy companies, I wondered last week why they continue to sell ordinary sweets as “natural sweets”. Namely, they have been ordered to remove all ordinary sweets from the natural candy shelf. In a reply to me, Exotic Snacks now unexpectedly means that they do not define their range as “natural sweets”. That ICA calls their products natural candy on their price tags (as above) means Exotic Snacks is a misconception. But is it true? Or is Exotic Snacks now just trying to round up the legislation?

Last spring, I reported Exotic Snacks, Cloetta / Parrots, Coop and Hemköp / Axfood, partly because they have called white chocolate “yogurt”, partly because they mix ordinary sweets into what is sold as “natural sweets”. The food inspectors who inspect the companies have since come to the conclusion that white chocolate must be called white chocolate, and what is sold as natural candy needs to contain some form of natural ingredient. It can be, for example, a nut, a piece of fruit or a dried berry. According to the information I have received from one of the inspectors, the companies would clean up their range by this summer.

Exotic Snacks sells licorice fudge as natural candy

Now the summer has passed, but the companies still sell milk chocolate licorice, licorice fudge and other sweets on their natural candy shelves. That’s why I wrote another open letter to them last week. For example, Exotic Snacks sells these pieces of licorice:

They contain no natural ingredients at all, not even what Exotic Snacks calls “natural licorice.”

Now Exotic Snacks has responded to my open letter. Then they suddenly claim that it is a misconception that they sell natural sweets. This is how they write:

Swas from Exotic Snacks

Hello Ann,

Our goal is to have a wide range of snacks with everything from, for example, natural and flavored nuts to various licorice and chocolate products. We make sure to always have clear and accurate content information on all our products so that consumers know what they are buying and that we follow the laws and industry guidelines that exist.

Sometimes we realize that labeling can be further clarified and we then make updates, an example of this is when we changed the name of our “white chocolate yogurt” products to now say “white chocolate with yogurt taste”. Regarding our product “Natural licorice”, I agree that the name is misleading as the product has undergone more than minimal treatment. There we will review how the name can be updated to be as clear and correct as possible. That the product has that name is based from the beginning on the fact that it is the product name of the supplier to us.

We do not call our general range of natural sweets and this name does not appear on any of our own labels, either in our bulk department or on our consumer packaged bags. We do not consider it correct that we would sell products in our general range with a misleading description. Such a case has also not been taken up by our control authority where Exotic Snacks AB is based. That we should have been commissioned to change our range is therefore not true.

It is good that labels are examined, and as I said, they are already in the assignment at the supervisory authority and certification body. We as a company and I personally, as quality manager, attach great importance to correct labeling.

Sincerely

Susanne Johansson

Quality and sustainability manager – Exotic Snacks

The company with “passion for nature” no longer sells natural products

This is a very interesting answer I think. Exotic Snacks makes it appear that they have voluntarily taken the initiative to change the term “yogurt” so that it now says white chocolate. But the company did so only after I sent in a complaint against them. Before that, for example, it looked like this in their range:

Then the head of quality and sustainability suddenly thinks that Exotic Snacks does not sell natural sweets. “We do not call our general range of natural sweets and this name does not appear on any of our own labels,” she writes.

However, this is something that the company has completely failed to convey to ICA, which sells their products. Next to the shelf with the licorice pieces in the picture above is this price indication:

And in another ICA store near me, it looks like this:

Both stores call it natural candy. When I emailed Exotic Snacks and asked if ICA had misunderstood anything, the answer was: “We sell our loose weight products to hundreds of stores in Sweden and can not answer for what individual stores wrote on their own price tags.”

The parent company of Exotic Snacks has also misunderstood what they sell

Exotic Snacks now means instead that they are selling a “loose weight concept”. And if they delete the prefix “natural” from the definition of their range, they can of course sell ordinary sweets. The only question is whether it is true that they only sell a “loose weight concept”, or if this is an argument they have come up with now to round up the legislation?

This made me look at the tracks that all companies leave behind on the internet. Here are some examples of what I found.

An advertising agency that worked with Exotic Snacks in 2009, writes on its website, that “Exotic Snacks is a leader in natural snack assortment”.

When Hemköp stopped selling Exotic Snacks products in 2013, Exotic Snacks wrote on Facebook that: “Axfood has made a central decision to replace Exotic Snacks with its own natural candy concept which they call Pick & Mix. ” In the post, they also define themselves as a “natural candy supplier“And they write that they love” nuts and natural candy”.

In 2017, Exotic Snacks also has a campaign where they stand for “natural pleasure”And if you look at the annual report for their parent company Premium Snacks Nordic in 2020, they call Exotic Snacks loose weight concept natural snacks.

In August this year, Premium Snacks Nordic also released a news item that they are reviewing the Exotic Snacks range. Their CEO says that: “The goal is to be Sweden’s leading brand in nuts and natural snacks.”

Exotic Snacks claims that sweets are natural on their Instagram account

Anyone who follows Exotic Snacks on Instagram can also see that their posts often end with: “Passion for nature 🌴 We are the better choice when you want one natural boost in everyday life. Treat yourself to our high-quality nuts and snacks! ”

This also applies when they have posts about their licorice joint, which is thus ordinary candy. This is what their post from May 29 this year looks like:

A food inspector I have spoken to considers this to be a misleading form of marketing. A product that is marketed as “natural” has even higher requirements than natural sweets. It can hardly be processed at all, and can absolutely not contain glucose syrup, vegetable carbon, whey powder and soy lecithin (as the licorice fudge in the picture does).

Exotic Snacks will be reviewed again

I have submitted another complaint to Exotic Snacks and the company will be reviewed again. I hope that the food inspector who carries out the inspection does not go on their argument that they are only selling a loose weight concept. In my registration, I have, among other things, attached the picture above from Exotic Snacks Instagram.

In conclusion: Thank you to all of you who through my page on Patreon have started to contribute to me being able to review the food industry. There is a lot to do!

This is a guest post. Any opinions expressed are the writer’s own.