The free-from ice cream brand used phrases including ‘super-fruit’ and ‘superfoods’ to describe the ingredients used in its products. The ASA said the references were not accompanied by any specific authorised health claim, and the company had therefore breached the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) code.
A complaint was made against Oppo by rival free-from ice cream business Perfect World Ice Cream Company.
Perfect World Ice Cream complained about claims on Oppo’s website, including: “Our three flavours combine a traditional ice cream favourite with a super-fruit boost,” and “…using superfoods to make indulgent fruit good for you”.
London-based Oppo agreed to remove the claims from its advertising, “because there were no authorised health claims related to the ingredients spirulina, lucuma or baobab”, said the ASA.
‘The complaint was a surprise’
Oppo md Charlie Thuillier told FoodManufacture.co.uk: “The complaint was a surprise as the Oppo mission is to allow people to indulge in luxury ice cream without compromising their health – our ingredients and product reflect this.
“We commissioned experts from two food legislation authorities who confirmed that all our flavours (which contain 50-60% less sugar and calories than regular ice cream) have a composition that can make the EU authorised health claim.
“So, we’d like to extend a thank you to the complainant! We’ll send them a tub of healthy indulgent ice cream to celebrate.”
The company believed it could make an authorised health claim for the sugar replacement ingredients. It said in the future, it would accompany health references with that claim in its advertising instead.
‘50–60% less sugar’
Thuillier said: “Therefore, we were advised that we can go one step further and use ‘healthy’ not just on our website (as queried) but also on our packaging.”
The ASA acknowledged Oppo’s willingness to amend its advertising. However, it said the references to ‘superfoods’ and ‘super-fruit’ were likely to be understood by the consumer as general benefits of the product.
The ASA told Oppo: “The ad must not appear again in its current form”, since the references were not backed up by an authorised health claim.
Meanwhile, the ice cream brand had reported a like-for-like growth of 744% for May and June this year. That was 340% above its revenue target.
Oppo said it expected to grow sales by 284% this financial year.
ASA ruling– at a glance
- Claim against Oppo made by rival Perfect World Ice Cream Company
- Claim made against references to ‘superfoods’ and ‘super-fruits’ ingredients
- ASA ordered removal
- Oppo agreed to remove references from advertising