The ruling was the result of a single complainant, who said the claim seen on the firm’s website on the 28th February 2018, was misleading and could not be substantiated - a view shared by the ASA.
“The ad must not appear again in its current form,” they said. “We told Racing Greens Nutraceuticals Ltd not to claim or imply that the product was the equivalent of fruit and vegetables and could count towards the recommended ‘five a day’ portions of fruit and vegetables.
Responding to the ruling, Cheshire-based Racing Greens Nutraceuticals Ltd, trading as Racing Greens, said they could substantiate the claim, stating the product had enough ingredients to contain the equivalent of six of a person’s five a day.
The product in question “Racing Greens Green Drink,” is a mix of over 28 varieties of fruits and vegetables, one of which was Fruit & Greens powder.
Low heat dehydration process
According to Racing Greens, this powder was blended using low heat dehydration, a process that uses dry heat to eliminate the moisture but keeping enzyme content and function.
Racing Greens added that 5 grams (g) of Fruit & Greens was the equivalent of 500g of fruit and vegetables and that their product contained 8.5% of Fruit & Greens in each tub.
This, they said equalled 1100g in each tub. With the content of a tub at 270 g, this meant each tub contained 30 servings at 36g per serving.
ASA hit back saying customers were likely to interpret “6 of your 5 a day” to mean the product provided one more than the five portions of fruit and veg national guidelines urged the public to consume per day.
Quoting government guidance, ASA said a portion was defined as around 80g serving of fruit or vegetables, which could be fresh, frozen, canned or juiced.
A portion of dried fruit was around 30g serving (fresh weight equivalent) and five portions equated to 400g of a range of fruit and vegetables each day, they added.
“We also understood that 150 ml of unsweetened fruit juice, vegetable juice or a smoothie could only count as a maximum of one portion of a five a day,” ASA added.
“We therefore considered that only products which met those criteria could claim to be, or be equivalent to, one or more portions of fruit and vegetables.”
The advertising authority responded to Racing Greens’ claim that there were over 28 different types of fruit and vegetables in the product saying that they understood that the product was a powder, which had to be mixed with water, or fruit juice to be consumed,
“We considered that the drink could not be considered to contain fruit and vegetables as defined by the government guidance and therefore could not count towards portions of “five a day”.”
Public Health England guidelines
In June of this year, Public Health England advised that fruit and vegetable powders would not count towards the ‘5 A Day’ recommendation, as they thought the product was too far removed from its original form.
They added that there was insufficient evidence that fruit and vegetable powders provided equivalent health benefits to consuming the original fruit or vegetable (fresh, frozen, tinned, dried or juiced).
“Because the product did not contain fruit and vegetables as required by the guidance, we concluded that the claim “6 of your 5 a day” was misleading,” ASA concluded.