Food Companies Are Tricking You with Words Like 'Artisanal' and 'Homemade,' Says Consumer Group

We regret to say that you have been played.
June 14, 2018, 3:57pm

Everyone has at least one little luxury. The eight-tog, eider duck down duvet with feathers individually plucked from the nests of migrating birds. Authentic Tuscan olive oil in a fancy glass bottle. A tin opener that isn’t shit. It’s what helps us get through this harsh, temperamental thing we call “life.”

Well, turns out you’re being lied to about all that nice stuff. According to a report from the European Consumer Organisation (ECO) released this month, food manufacturers are frequently using terms like “artisanal,” “natural,” and “homemade” to dupe shoppers into buying regular quality products.


As reported by the Guardian, the ECO is calling for more rigorous food labelling across the European Union. The report highlights three types of misleading statements: the use of words like “craft” and “homemade” to describe mass-manufactured food, images of fresh fruit on products with low fruit content, and referring to food items as “whole grain” without specifying their whole grain content.

Titled “Food Labels: Tricks of the Trade,” the report claims that food companies are able to exploit uncertainties in advertising standards to mislead consumers. “Taking advantage of grey zones in EU food labelling law, these practices give consumers a perception that they are buying a higher quality or healthier product than the reality,” it reads. “Any voluntary information given on a food label should be honest and authentic to allow consumers to make better, more informed choices.”

Indeed, food manufacturers across the globe have been caught using misleading terms on their packaging. This year, Pret a Manger was forced to remove the term “natural” from its products when “real bread” campaigners complained that their baguettes contained E-numbers. A beer company in Germany was recently told outright that “wholesome” was not a legit way to sell beer.