Not even the Status Quo could save Coles from Jeff Kennett and his par-baked muffins.
You might recall that some time ago we wrote of the ACCC taking Coles to Court for its “freshly baked” claims.
In a win for your local bakery, the Court found Coles guilty in June of misleading or deceptive conduct with respect to the representations it made over the freshness of its bread and baked goods. The Court found that consumers could be misled into thinking that packaging and signage which contained phrases such as “Baked Today, Sold Today”, “Freshly Baked In- Store”, “Freshly Baked” and “Baked Fresh” meant that the goods were baked from scratch or, at least, baked that day and on site. The reality was that many of the products were partially baked off site (often overseas) in the weeks or month before, then snap frozen, transported and finished at Coles. There really is no freshness like Coles freshness.
Coles has now been reprimanded (a gluten for punishment you might say). Coles is banned for three years from advertising on any packaging or promotional material that its bread products are baked fresh or on that day. Coles also has to display a Corrective Notice on its website and in its Bakery stores, which informs customers of the ban and the outcome of the ACCC proceedings.
The Court may still fine Coles (potentially over $3 million), but we won’t know this until sometime in this future. We can’t wait. This is not insignificant for Coles and its domination of the market. Often dubbed a “toothless tiger”, it looks like the ACCC is the real breadwinner in this scenario.
For now, we’ll see you at Bourke Street Bakery!