5. Claim and qualifying text

Comparative nutrition claims and their corresponding qualifying text should be phrased simply and clearly so that the consumer is informed of the nature of the comparison and is not misled. The basis for the claim should be clearly laid out in the qualifying text, which should appear wherever the claim appears in consumer marketing communications, e.g. on packaging, TV, digital, and point of sale materials in store.

The claim must refer to one of the relevant approved claims from the Annex of the Regulation (see section 4). It is necessary to stipulate the difference in the quantity of a nutrient and/or the energy value and this information should be included in the claim and/or qualifying text. The qualifying text should also clarify the nature of the representative sample of products from the category for comparison.

In some cases, it may not be possible to include qualifying text due to very limited space or exposure time available, e.g. in extreme instances where it cannot reasonably be included in online media. However, in this case the media should link through to a manufacturer product site, which contains the claim and qualifying text in a prominent position, within one click through. The consumer will therefore have the necessary information to hand regarding the nature of the claim.

A business may want to provide additional detail about the substantiation supporting the claim to the consumer or enforcement authority. This might be done via the provision of information on a manufacturer's website, for instance, which is publically available. The website address could be referenced within the qualifying text. This information would provide further clarity to the nature of the claim and comparison, to include content such as:

a) The source of the market sales data (if applicable) and average nutrient values.

b) The selection process for the category of representative products for comparison.

c) A brief account of the calculation.

d) Anything particularly unusual about the above.

A business may also want to consider testing the wording of qualifying text with consumers prior to launch into the marketplace to ensure it is meaningful, understood, and does not mislead. This information could be included within any supporting documentation for the claim, which could be helpful in the event of any challenge.

For further advice regarding the appropriate presentation of claims and accompanying qualifying text in advertising copy, it could be pertinent to consult with the CAP Copy Advice team.

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