Hero Foods is withdrawing its Fruit2day juice with added fruit drinks from UK shelves after criticism from an advertising watchdog.
The Swiss Food giant, which launched the products here at the beginning of this year, said it was "bitterly disappointed" by an Advertising Standards Authority ban on ad claims that the brand contained two of the recommended five-a-day portions of fruit and vegetables. It also said that the ruling effectively made it impossible to advertise the products.
Rules governing juices and smoothies mean that these can only count as one portion of fruit per day, regardless of the quantity drunk. However, Hero Foods had positioned Fruit2day, which combines fruit pieces, purée and juice, as a new 'drinking fruit snack' category. It argued that the drinks' whole fruit content and higher level of fibre than juices or smoothies made them exempt from this restriction.
UK managing director Richard Ilsley said the company had worked with nutritional experts and consulted the Broadcasting Advertising Clearance Committee for clearance on the ads. It had also applied to the Department of Health to use the five-a-day logo but had been refused and told that the product did not fit into the juices and smoothies category.
"We were not looking to mislead consumers and we have a robust product with a robust claim, which we still believe in," he said. "It is a credible way to eat fruit."
Ilsley said the products continued to perform well across European markets and had been very positive here too, adding: "Ironically, the packaging, which highlight's the two-a-day content, has been approved by the Trading Standards office, but we can't use the claim on advertising,"
The ASA complaint applied to a £3m campaign with the strapline 'Have you had your Fruit2day?'.