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Consumer Protection: Calories by Dr. Oetker »crunchy muesli« must be labeled more clearly


How big is a portion of muesli? With extra small amounts, manufacturers calculate the calorie content nicely, criticize consumer advocates. Now a court judgment is insisting on comparable information.

Oetker site in Bielefeld (archive photo)


Bernd Thissen / dpa

In a dispute with consumer advocates about nutritional information, Dr.

Oetker suffered a defeat in court.

The company must also state the calorific value of 100 grams of the unprepared product for a »crunchy muesli« on the front of the pack.

That explains the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) in Karlsruhe.

This was preceded by a ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ), in which it interpreted the European food regulation for the BGH.

The ECJ ruled in November that the nutritional information for food that is prepared in different ways may not refer to a fictitious portion size.

(Az. I ZR 143/19)


Oetker only stated the calorific value per portion on the front and assumed 40 grams of muesli and 60 milliliters of milk.

The information on the calorific value of the unprepared muesli was only found on the side of the pack.

That's why the Federation of German Consumer Organizations (vzbv) complained because, in its view, only the values ​​for a 100-gram portion ensure comparability.

“Manufacturers keep trying to hide the high calorie content of food.

They do this, for example, by emphasizing the energy value for small portions or for a mix with low-calorie products,” vzbv legal officer Susanne Einsiedler explained back in 2018.

At that time, the association had achieved success against Oetker in the first instance, before the Bielefeld district court.

In an appeal to the Higher Regional Court of Hamm, however, the judgment from that time was overturned.

As a result, the consumer centers went before the BGH.

Criticism of unrealistic portion sizes

This suspended the proceedings in August 2020 and submitted questions to the ECJ.

The ECJ replied that the information on the side of the pack was not sufficient to establish comparability.

In the specific case, the BGH had to decide, but was bound by the legal interpretation of the ECJ.

He overturned the judgment of the Hamm Higher Regional Court and subsequently dismissed the appeal of Dr.

Oetkers against the regional court judgment from Bielefeld, which he thus restored.

According to the vzbv, unrealistic portion sizes are not uncommon, but they do not correspond to consumer expectations.

The vzbv demands that companies fall back on known reference values, i.e. 100 grams or 100 milliliters of a food.


Source: spiegel

All business articles on 2022-05-17

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