50% Less Sugar = 50% less Juice

50% sugar = 50% juice (or 50% added water). Sold right next to 100% juice and looks very similar but is more expensive! Best marketing scam ever.


I am not sure whether it actually means less or no added sugar.

However, both the standard and the 50% less sugar products are a pathetic joke.

I expected that a long established Australian company would be using Australian fruit but the labels state otherwise.


Only 9% Australian content.


0% Australian content.

Even the water must be imported?

Boycott them and buy Australian content products.



No longer an Australian company…it has been owned by Heinz since 2008.


No further explanation needed.


It’s not new in that some products are sold as “fruit juice” while for decades the alternative of a “fruit drink” has also been available.

No surprise that Golden Circle has two very similar packaged products.

Orange juice that is basically an imported product, but happily has an Australian content label. If you are not observant a product with just 2% Aussie content might not be that obvious as the bar label is simply displaying a blank bar space. Perhaps the background should be red bar with a black bar to denote the Aussie percentage. It would display full red like a traffic light in this example. Unfortunately the designers of the label have chosen red to denote good! How many psychology degrees did this take over lunch?

Imported Heinz GC OJ is $3.00 for 2l with no added sugar at Woolies.

The 48% Aussie content Heinz GC 50% less sugar Fruit Drink orange flavour $4.20 for 2l regular price at Woolies. A bit of joke that Coles markets at $7.94 regular price. What a great buy @gary.lamont has pointed out, or not as he suggests!

Woolies sells a range of full strength sugar Fruit Drinks in a variety of flavours all from Heinz GC at $3.00 per 2l. Great value if you mix 50-50 with your favourite tap or mineral water for 50% less sugar.

Coles and Heinz shonky as! @BrendanMays


The clue is in the label, it is “Fruit drink” not “Fruit juice”. Misdirection using label images has been going on for centuries. Obfuscation using reduced font sizes is nothing new either. There comes a time when the shopper has to be alert, nobody can do that for you.


I would have expected the ACCC and Government can act to minimise the practice. That neither choose too we might need to look to those who are not alert.


Or does this come under Food Standards ANZ, who also manage the HealthStar Rating System?


It’s a good question.

It’s voluntary.
The Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation agreed that the Health Star Rating system would be implemented by industry on a voluntary basis over an initial five years (from 27 June 2014).

And it’s run by committees if the Government website is consulted. One of which has includes,
The monitoring of the HSR system is overseen by the HSR Advisory Committee (HSRAC).

It’s not clear that Food Standards ANZ has any direct control other than in setting out the magic formula for how many stars a product rates.

I’ll leave the cynicism for others, knowing there is currently an ongoing review into the system.

One expert in the field suggests FSANZ has zero authority to enforce standards.



Or if they do have authority, they don’t seem to have any desire. They seem to be in too close a relationship with the food industry.


Two issues in discussion, one being food safety under the auspices of Food Standards, and the other commercial practices, under the auspices of the ACCC.

So long as the drink is properly labelled for what it is and is ‘safe’, the higher price for the drink vs the juice is a commercial decision. The 50% less sugar claim requires a few milliseconds of sleuthing since the goldencircle web site does not show the product.

Drum roll:

Golden Circle’s new 50% Less Sugar Fruit Drink range – a blend of refreshing water and delicious fruit juice.
** Contains 50% Less Sugar than Golden Circle Fruit Juice Range*
** No Artificial Sweeteners*

The pesky ‘^’ on the front label should ‘point’ to the rear label describing what it is and how it is ‘50% less’ than what. The ‘secret ingredient’ that reduces sugar per volume is ‘refreshing water’.

Woolies links this drink product to Golden Circle 50% Less Sugar Apple Juice which is just wrong but probably unintentional re it being misleading and the images clearly show the product is a drink. The other grocers appropriately call it a drink or avoid what it is.

My conclusion is it is dodgy marketing, but the higher price as compared to juice remains a commercial decision. Buying the lower cost juice and diluting it seems the way to go since the convenience of pre-added water costs.


It does and there is a requirement for products labelled as fruit juices…

and fruit drink…

If the above fruit drinks were labelled as fruit juices, then Golden Circle (Heinz) would be in breach of FSA and subject to enforcement action.

The only criticism is the wordking ‘fruit drink’ on the label is not overly conspicuous. If one doesn’t look at the list of ingredients nor see this wording, one could easily think it was a fruit juice as the product bottle and labelling is somewhat similar between products.


Just as a side note. Is there a weights and measures authority? Back in the UK there used to be many moons ago a govt department that actually employed people to randomly check that stuff was as heavy, long, wide as claimed. There were big fines for those who did not comply!. Just that I have on a couple of occasions weighed stuff and it was under the claimed weight, it’s a long trail back into town so I have not ever bothered to chase it up but maybe we should be checking the claims?

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Two relevant pages from the same government agency…



Nice but no policing! As proved by your hand sanitiser review/test. It says it does but apparently not?

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As with most of our regulations, there are often volumes, but enforcement only happens when a consumer complains as often as not.

There is yet another player.

The NMI does employ inspectors, and the above page has how to lodge complaints…


Thanks for that info!. Just remembered the quaking of the shop owners back in the uk in case the weights and measures man came for a surprise visit to make sure that the scales were calibrated. And they had to be accurate!


I was in the public service and we regularly went to the QV market food area on the way home, with our ‘fed lanyards’ conspicuously around our necks and the badges in a pocket. Once in a while the trader would ask what department and we would purse our lips and nod. Never had a problem with short weights there :laughing:


It’s not what they choose. The commercial labelling lobby are very rich and very powerful. It’s all we can do to keep current labelling policies tightened up, let alone going for fairly easy-to-detect “fruit drink” labelling. To be fair, some folks prefer it because it really does have less sugar.

In the UK some time ago, the Dental association copped some flack for approving “Ribena”, with artificial sweeteners, because it was “better for children’s teeth than the alternative of full sugar fruit juice”. That’s obviously debatable, but even so there’s a lot of different opinions, and not everybody wants “pure” juice, which is obviously high in sugar.

I’m not excusing the practice, just saying there’s more complexity to it than just honesty in labelling.


I can relate to that sentiment. Because the ACCC and others are not able to be relied upon. It really is up to the consumer to be more alert. Easy to detect? Some of us are programmed genetically to have perfect observational powers. It’s far from a universal attribute, which is how and why the marketing brand labelling gets away with the deception often enough to make it worth while.

Short of eating fresh fruit or squeezing you’re own,

However this does rely on an interested and informed consumer reading the fine print labels on the products. Just add water for an instant low sugar saving.