Supermarket shoppers discover true meaning of symbol as they brand it 'a joke'

A general image of an opened bag of crisps
One Aldi user in Australia has discovered the true meaning of the 'e' symbol on a packet of crisps -Credit:Getty Images

Shoppers have found out the true meaning behind a 'secret' symbol on food packaging - and they aren't too happy about it.

If you have ever spotted the little 'e' symbol, particularly on a bag of crisps, you may have wondered what it truly means. Considering the crisp to air ratio in some bags, shoppers do occasionally wonder if the are getting what they pay for.

As it turns out, the symbol doesn't actually give the accurate volume or weight of a product. Instead, it actually just means the "average value" of the product, so you might be getting less than what you are paying for.

The discovery was made after one Aldi Australia shopper who conducted her own experiment on a 230g bag of crisps, only to find the contents weighed just 139g - 91g less than what they paid for. She quickly took to Facebook to share her findings.

As reported by The Mirror, the mum, from Canberra, Australia, shared a photo of the discovery and asked: "How is this okay at all? [We] try to save money by buying from Aldi, but we don't even get the amount on the packet!"

"More than two-thirds of the packet was air - hence why I decided to check it... I put the whole bag with chips in it on the scales first and it was 157g," she explained.

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Other users were quick to chime in on the conversation, which is where one did confirm that the 'e' symbol only relates to the average weight and not the amount contained. However, that doesn't mean everyone was happy about.

One other angry user wrote: "That isn't an estimation, though. Even Woolies mince has the 'e' and usually it's minimal difference - but nearly 100g is massive!"

Another wrote: "Not getting what you pay for is a joke and being so far off the 'e' weight is just ridiculous."

The website for the Department of Industry, Science and Resources also agrees that Average Quantity System (AQS) shouldn't be that different. it reads: "The AQS is an internationally agreed method of determining the size or quantity of pre-packed articles with a 'constant nominal content'. This means it provides confirmation of the measurement or quantity of goods in the package, being sold by measure (weight, volume, length, area or number)."

It also states that "no pre-packaged article can have a shortfall greater than 5% of the stated quantity."

According to the official European Union website, EU regulations state that prepackaged (or prepacked) products sold in any EU country must provide information on the package specifying the nominal quantity (weight or volume) of their contents. it explains that the 'e' mark "placed next to the nominal quantity, shows that you have complied with the relevant European laws".

The Daily Record has reached out to Aldi for a comment.

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