In a win for parents, after representations by advocacy group Parents’ Voice Heinz has agreed to rename their Golden Circle Junior Fruit Drinks, acknowledging that they are not suitable for children aged under 12 months. These products displayed a front of pack label declaring them appropriate from six months plus.
In November 2017, a Parents’ Voice member from Joondalup in WA raised concerns about the product, which was stocked at their local IGA and was marketed to children aged six months and above. Given the contents of the product, Parents’ Voice shared this parent’s view that this product is inappropriate and contacted IGA, Heinz and Golden Circle, the Australian Beverages Council and Metcash, the product’s wholesaler.
Recently Heinz made the decision to lift the age guidelines for the product and to rename it to make it clear that is not for the consumption of infants.
“Juice is not recommended for young children,” says Parents’ Voice Campaigns Manager, Alice Pryor. It has over four grams of sugar per serve and impacts on suitable consumption of nutrient rich food and fluid and risks damaging baby teeth. Even the Australian Beverages Council, of which Heinz is a member, acknowledges that very young children should not be consuming cordials, soft drinks or fruit juice.”
Rebecca Zosel, a parent of three from Victoria shares these concerns: “This product stated on the front that it is ‘ready to drink for little tummies’ and I found the fruit drink positioned, not in the sugary drinks aisle, but right next to the infant rice cereal. I’m delighted that Parents’ Voice has taken action and that Heinz has subsequently agreed to change this product.”
Ms Pryor adds: “Parents are fed up with having to memorise the Australian Dietary Guidelines in order to navigate the confusing claims made on the front of products aimed at children. We should be providing supportive environments to make the healthy choice the easy choice. With 40 per cent of Australian kids having decay in their adult teeth, we need a whole of community approach to turn things around.”
Note to editors:
Parents’ Voice is an online network of parents who are interested in improving the food and activity environments of Australian children. Formerly known as The Parents’ Jury, Parents’ Voice was formed in 2004 and represents thousands of Australian parents. Parents’ Voice is supported by Diabetes Victoria, VicHealth and YMCA.