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Complaint about Brace's "traditional" Welsh cakes

This complaint was made on 7 October 2004 about the promotion on product packaging of Brace's Welsh Cakes as "Traditional" when, in fact, they contained hydrogenated vegetable oil - a non-traditional ingredient.

Due to the absence of a UK-wide enforcement authority, the complaint was made to Oxfordshire's Trading Standards department.

I wish to complain about misleading product labelling on a packet of "Brace's Traditional Welsh Cakes" as seen on sale in Tesco's (Cowley Rd branch) a few days ago.

The complaint is that the cakes are heavily "sold" on the packaging as "traditional", however they contain Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (HVO), which is not a traditional ingredient. HVO was only invented in the early 20th century and its use became widespread only in the second part of the 20th century.

The product packaging contains statements including: "Welsh cakes have been a teatime favourite in Wales for centuries ... Now we are offering Brace's family recipe and experience of making Welsh cakes for over 100 years".

This and other statements on the packaging clearly lead the consumer to believe that this is a traditional product, made to a traditional recipe of 100 years standing or more, and therefore made with traditional ingredients. The inclusion of HVO in this product - which incidentally is also highly deleterious to health, being a significant contributor to cardio-vascular disease, and implicated in Type 2 diabetes - is entirely incompatible with the idea of a traditional product.

For your information, the address given for the manufacturer is: "Braces Traditional Welsh Cakes, Brace's Bakery, Croespenmaen Industial Estate, Crumlin, Newport, South Wales NP11 3AG."

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