Ads for in-store bakery found likely to mislead
Published 21/07/2010 | 05:00
The loaves of bread lining the shelves might be warm and soft to the touch. But despite appearances, many supermarkets use their "in-store bakeries" merely to warm up bread made in industrial units hundreds of miles away.
Just how much bread is made elsewhere was revealed yesterday in a ruling by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) against Tesco. It judged that Britain's biggest supermarket was wrong to suggest its bread was baked from scratch, when most of its stores had done little more than pop near-finished loaves into the oven.
Only 504 of Tesco's 2,362 UK stores baked their bread from scratch -- while 1,288 of its "in-store bakeries" engaged in re-heating, the ASA discovered.
The complaint was made by a campaign demanding "real bread." Part of the Sustain food and farming pressure group, the Real Bread Campaign, says most shop-bought loaves are a mix of hidden additives, fats and short fermentation.
In an advertising campaign, Tesco celebrated the freshness of its in-store bread. The headline text read: "Fresh bread. Baked from scratch in our in-store bakery. Using 100pc British flour. So every single loaf is genuinely British... Born and bread." The small print stated: "Subject to availability. Selected UK stores."
The ASA banned the adverts, ruling: "Because we considered the ad implied all Tesco stores with a bakery facility baked bread from scratch, which was true of only a limited number of stores, we concluded the ad was likely to mislead."
Iain Loe, spokesman for the Real Bread Campaign, said: "We believe that this ruling sends an important message to advertisers: if you are planning to hide or distort the facts in an attempt to draw customers away from small, independent bakeries that try to make an honest living baking honest loaves, the people of Britain won't stand for it."The campaign claims the six major supermarkets do not meet its demands, which include no artificial additives and at least four hours of fermentation.