DUTCH RULING CALLS FOR CLARITY OVER VANILLA FLAVOUR / by Nikolaas Tilkin-Franssens

The Dutch Advertising Code Commission (in Dutch; Reclame Code Commissie) found the indication “vanilla” on front of pack to be misleading considering the product at stake does not contain natural vanilla.

A local consumer organization, named Foodwatch, initiated a case against Friesland Campina on the allegedly misleading labelling of a vanilla flavoured dessert. It argued the simple indication of “flavouring” in the list of ingredients is not sufficient to lose the impression of consumers that the product would contain real vanilla. Neither would the side of pack statement “smooth vanilla flavour” lift such impression. In the appeal brought by Friesland Campina, the Commission confirmed the grievances brought by Foodwatch. Furthermore, the defence that “vanilla” would be part of the commonly used name for this type of product (In Dutch: vanillevla, or vanilla custard) was not upheld. This led the Dutch Advertising Code Commission to confirm the labelling was misleading in terms of the product’s composition.

Reclame Code Commissie: 2018/00701 (16 May 2019) - link