Iceland is still selling own label products containing palm oil despite a well-publicised commitment to stop using the ingredient by the end of 2018.
About 30 Iceland own label products containing palm oil remain on sale, including Chocolate Gateau, Quick Defrost Profiteroles, Belgian Chocolate Éclairs and Cocktail Sausage Rolls.
The frozen specialist committed in April last year to stop using palm oil in all own label food by the end of 2018 because of concern over deforestation caused by production of the ingredient. The commitment formed the basis of the supermarket’s high-profile ‘Rang-tan’ Christmas ad, viewed a claimed 70 million times online.
An Iceland spokesman said today that stocks of food produced before 31 December with palm oil as an ingredient would remain on sale until they ran out.
“We committed to stop using palm oil as an ingredient in Iceland own-label food by the end of 2018, and this has been done,” he said. “No lines produced after 31 December contain it as an ingredient.”
But he added: “Our best estimate is that there are approximately 30 Iceland own label lines still on sale that were made before we completed the removal of palm oil as an ingredient on 31 December 2018. These are mainly in the categories of frozen desserts and frozen pastry products. The number will vary from store to store depending on their rate of sale - which will also determine when their sell-through is completed. However, we would expect this to be achieved within the next few weeks.”
Own label products containing palm oil also remain available to order on Iceland’s website.
Iceland’s ‘Rang-tan’ Christmas ad features a Greenpeace animation about a baby orangutan whose home has been destroyed. It ends with the message: ‘Until palm oil causes zero rainforest destruction, we’re removing palm oil from all our own label products.’
The ad was blocked from TV by approval body Clearcast over its links to a political organisation and went viral after Iceland tweeted that it had been ‘banned’. It was retweeted by celebrities including James Corden and a petition challenging Clearcast’s decision gained over a million signatures.
Iceland followed it up with a publicity stunt involving an animatronic orangutan at London landmarks and MD Richard Walker appeared on ITV’s Good Morning Britain to defend the supermarket’s palm oil stance.