Asda, Lidl, Tesco, Aldi, Sainsbury's shoppers 'misled' and say 'we want to know'

Leading supermarkets have been accused of "misleading" shoppers after a new Which? study. Asda, Aldi, Tesco, Sainsbury's, Lidl, Iceland and more came under fire from the watchdog and consumer group, who released its findings in a study on Friday (April 19).

Under current regulations, certain products such as meat, fish, fresh fruits and veggies, honey, and wine must disclose their country or place of origin. Which? discovered that items such as loose cauliflowers, red cabbage, courgettes, and onions at Sainsbury's; peppers, melons, and mangoes at Asda; and spring onions at Aldi lacked clear country-of-origin information on both the shelf and the products.

A pack of gammon joints in Iceland the pork was labelled as “EU and non-EU origin”, it also found. Which? retail editor Ele Clark said: "Which? research has uncovered a surprising amount of inconsistent and misleading food labelling, suggesting that – even when the rules are properly adhered to – consumers aren’t getting all the information they want about their food’s origin.

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"Shoppers want to know where their food comes from for multiple reasons, including supporting British suppliers and making more sustainable choices." She added: "But manufacturers and retailers should also consider providing origin information on more processed meat products so shoppers are armed with the information they need to make informed choices."

An Aldi spokesperson said: “We understand that our shoppers want to know where the food they buy comes from, and we work hard to ensure that all our labelling complies with the rules." Asda said: “We have stringent processes in place to ensure country-of-origin is clearly displayed at the shelf edge and on products themselves where applicable, at all our stores."

A spokesperson for Iceland said: “At Iceland, our products are great quality and value for customers and we follow UK government guidance on food labelling, including country-of-origin.” Sainsbury's said: "We have processes in place to make sure country-of-origin information is clearly displayed on the product or shelf and we carry out regular checks working closely with our regulator, the Animal and Plant Health Agency."

A spokesperson for Tesco said the chain is committed to providing "honest and helpful" information so customers can make an informed decision on what they want to buy. "We comply with all UK food labelling requirements, including country of origin labelling," they added.