The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has upheld a complaint made against the Leon food chain that its 'Original Superfood Salad' was breaking rules about nutrition and health claims made on foods.
Leon had argued that the salad had borne the name before the regulation on health claims came into effect and was therefore exempt – they did not submit any evidence of 'superfood' health benefits.
The regulation requires that any health claims made in marketing be authorised on the EU register of nutrition and health claims. The ASA said that as "the reference to 'superfoods' was likely to be understood as relating to the general benefits of the product or its ingredients for overall good health or health-related well-being", the name is a 'general health claim' and as such, needs to be authorised.
Though Leon provided copies of articles mentioning a 'superfood salad' before the regulation came in in 2005, the ASA said that the names and ingredients used for these dishes varied and as there was no registered trade mark before 2005, the evidence was "not sufficient".
The general health claim therefore had to be backed as a permitted health claim. The ASA said that "because it was not, we concluded that the claim breached the Code."
Leon has now been told that the name can no longer be used and that any further health claims must be accompanied by "a permitted health or nutrition claim".