Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Blackcurrants in Ribena contain 4x the Vitamin C of oranges? Ya right.

Two New Zealand schoolgirls conducted a high school experiment in 2004, when they found out that Ribena's ready-to-drink beverage had far less vitamin C than advertised. They were ignored by GlaxoSmithKline, the maker of Ribena after they showed the company their results. Yesterday, GlaxoSmithKline finally admitted to the false claims about the nutritional value of its drink. From Ribena New Zealand:
With regard to the “four times” claim – on a weight for weight basis, the claim that “the blackcurrants in Ribena contain four times the Vitamin C of oranges” is actually factually correct. However we accept the Commission’s view that this may have had the potential to mislead some customers. There was never any intention to mislead our customers, however to avoid any potential confusion, we quickly began removing the claim from our packaging and advertising across our entire Ribena range more than a year ago. These actions were completed last year...

With regard to the content statement it is important to highlight that Ribena Syrup products were not part of this content information issue. They are a rich source of Vitamin C.

Only products in the Ready to Drink category were affected by the Commerce Commission concerns about Vitamin C content information. Until the Commerce Commission began its investigation into some Ready to Drink products, GSK was unaware there was an issue with the Vitamin C information on them. As with the ‘four times’ claim, we took similar prompt action to correct this more than a year ago.
Ribena's Australia website is also carrying a similar notice. Here in Singapore, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) will be conducting tests on Ribena to determine its actual level of Vitamin C. If you are really concerned about the amount of Vitamin C you get from drinking Ribena, I think it would be better if you choose a better alternative such as eating fruits or Vitamin C pills.

Update 29/3/2007: The nice folks at AVA pointed me to a Channel NewsAsia article that says test carried out by AVA reveals Ribena in Singapore is rich in Vitamin C. Yay! Enjoy drinking your Ribena fellas!

5 comments:

Myra Leong said...

I feel cheated.

Sir Thomas said...

>If you are really concerned about the amount of Vitamin C you get from drinking Ribena, I think it would be better if you choose a better alternative such as eating fruits or Vitamin C pills.

Spot on IZ!

Anonymous said...

Alamak! I drink Ribena since young thinking that it was full of vit c.

Shy said...

I don't think they purposely lied. Blackcurrents DO in fact contain four times the vitamin C of oranges but this statement could be a marketing gimmick to encourage people to buy their drink.

Fiddy said...

Meet GSK's Larry Liebena - http://fiddaman.blogspot.com/2007/04/meet-gsks-larry-liebena.html

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