Knorr soup sparks DoH row over ‘health’ claim

Knorr Vie launches ‘3 out of 5’ push, flouting spirit of Government’s ‘5 A Day’ healthy eating drive

The Department of Health (DoH) has condemned a national marketing campaign promoting Unilever Bestfoods’ Knorr Vie soup range as a healthy eating product.

Last week the Government unveiled its criteria for the use of its “Five A Day” logo. The logo, which represents the five daily portions of fruit and vegetables people should be eating, will only be used to promote fruit and vegetable products that have no added fats, sugars or salt. The Government is setting up a technical group to determine how processed and composite food can fit the criteria. It also specified that the portions should be made up from a variety of sources.

A DoH spokeswoman says: “We would not endorse this [Knorr Vie’s “three out five” claim]. We would not say it’s acceptable for a soup to count as three portions [of fruit and vegetables].” She also queried whether the products would be low in fat, sugar and salt. Unilever was unavailable for comment.

Despite this, Unilever has announced plans this week to mount a four-month sampling campaign for its dried soup brand Knorr Vie that will continue to push the claim that “three out of your five” recommended daily intakes of fruit and vegetables can be gained from the soup. In addition, the sampling will take place from a model fruit and vegetable stall, further muddying the waters and confusing consumers over its healthy properties.

Unilever has highlighted Knorr as one of its “powerbrands”. This year Unilever intends to spend &£30m marketing the brand in an attempt to make it worth &£200m in the UK by 2005.

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