According to an online consumer poll, Bavarian-based dairy company Zott's promise that the “sugar bomb” drink would be a healthy snack was so irresponsible that it beat out all other dubious food advertising attempts, Foodwatch said in a statement.
“The ‘Monte Drink' is false labelling from A to Zott,” head of the Foodwatch poll Anne Markwardt said. “More sugar than cola and twice as many calories as Fanta – that shouldn't allow for advertising it as healthy.”
More than 81,000 consumers participated in the online poll hosted by www.abgespeist.de, 37 percent of whom voted the “Monte Drink” the worst food advertising lie of the year.
When Foodwatch approached Zott about their ad campaign, the company said consumers don't like products without sugar.
“Every one of our products, and in particular children's products, is tested for taste acceptance by consumers. Totally unsweetened products have been rejected,” they told Foodwatch.
The second most misleading advertising for a food product was Pfanner's tea, “Der Gelbe Zintrone Physalis,” which was also found to be very high in sugar, though it is touted at a “wellness” product.
Mushroom soup “Duett Champignon Creme-Suppe” from Escoffier took the third spot for worst most misleading advertising. While the manufacturer attached a top chef to claims it contains “the finest ingredients,” it is actually a “pure mixture of additives and aroma” no better than “packaged powder soup.”
The poll, conducted between March 22 and April 22, aimed to uncover “legal advertising lies” among German foodmakers with concrete examples, Foodwatch said.
The action also gave consumers the chance to send letters of complaint directly to the offenders and “congratulate” them for making the award's top list.
In 2009 Foodwatch awarded Danone's drink yoghurt “Actimel” with the Golden Cream Puff Award, a distinction that forced a 55 percent drop in the product, the watchdog said.