Food giant NestlÃ© is considering lodging an appeal after it was fined £7,500 by a magistrate who ruled it had made illegal “medicinal claims” on cereal packaging.
The Swiss company was ordered to pay the fine after it was taken to court by trading standards officers in Shropshire.
A complaint about wording on 10 million boxes of Shredded Wheat and Shredded Wheat Bitesize was upheld. NestlÃ© must also pay £13,601 costs.
The court found NestlÃ© had implied that eating Shredded Wheat reduced the risk of coronary heart disease in an on-pack, four-step “lifestyle guideline”, which urged consumers to join the British Heart Foundation’s Healthy Heart Campaign last year.
Despite the ruling, NestlÃ© insists it has not made any misleading claims.
A spokesman says: “We maintain that we never intended to mislead consumers in any way and we are considering an appeal.”
The spokesman adds that current TV advertising for Shredded Wheat, featuring former England cricket captain Ian Botham, is not connected to last year’s campaign.
He says this year’s slogan – which claims that eating the cereal can help maintain a healthy heart rather than directly reducing the risk of heart disease – has attracted no complaints.
NestlÃ© also denies it has changed the wording on its cereal packaging and TV ads because of the court ruling.
The spokesman adds: “The judgement refers specifically to the Healthy Heart Campaign. It in no way affects the current Shredded Wheat advertising or packaging.”