Tesco accused of ‘misleading’ bakery marketing claims

Tesco has been accused of “misleading” bakery marketing claims and breaches of consumer protection regulations by food alliance and campaigners, Sustain.

The Real Bread Campaign, which is run by Sustain, has submitted a trading standards complaint over the supermarket giant’s marketing of its bakery section products.

The campaigners argue that claims such as “expertly baked in store since 1968”, “baking fresh from our ovens every day” and “freshly baked throughout the day” appear on Tesco’s packaging, store displays and its website, event in stores where this is not the case.

This includes stores where no bread is freshly baked from scratch on-site, stores where baking expertise is not required and stores that did not exist in 1968.

Real bread campaign co-ordinator Chris Young said group were “saddened” by Tesco’s actions and “amazed” the marketing claims have been allowed.

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Young added: “Over a number of years, Tesco has been shutting down in-store bakeries and making skilled baker roles redundant, replacing fresh bread making with staff members loading pre-made products into loaf tanning salons.

“We’re saddened by the company’s audacity in telling shoppers that things are being expertly, freshly baked and amazed that they’ve been allowed to continue making such claims.”

The real bread campaign confirmed it has sent a complaint to Hertfordshire County Council, which is the local authority with the Primary Authority relationship with the supermarket giant for trading standards.

However a spokesperson for Tesco responded: “We’re proud of our colleagues who freshly bake great quality, affordable bread in hundreds of our stores – and have done so since we opened our first in-store bakery in 1968.

“In some stores where we don’t have the space to bake everything from scratch, we work closely with our bakery suppliers who prepare dough for us that trained colleagues bake every day in store.

“The signage we use in each individual store reflects the different ways we prepare bread, and our approach has been agreed with our Trading Standards Primary Authority.”

Tesco also pointed out that while the supermarket giant had over 400 large stores which contain bakeries where products are made from scratch, and can be described as ‘fresh’ or ‘freshly baked’, it did not use terminology such as “fresh’ or ‘freshly baked’ on products made from frozen or part-baked dough.

It is not the first time Tesco has been accused of misleading marketing. In 2017, the grocer was one of many the UK’s major supermarkets scruitnised over misleading shoppers with controversial “fake farm” branding on own-brand meat products, leading to Tesco being threatened with legal proceedings.



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