Rusks: Why you need to double-check the box before you buy

Business Insider SA
  • Rusks may be sold in same-sized boxes, but you may find far less content in some than in others.
  • Product weights differ by up to 100g depending on the variety of rusks you choose.
  • SA's advertising regulator recently considered a complaint about the new packaging of Bokomo rusks, which highlighted the confusing situation.
  • For more stories, go to Business Insider SA.

Rusk boxes may all look roughly the same size, but they are not offering the same bang for your buck. You need to look carefully at the weights on the packet to make sure you know how much you’re buying.

This was highlighted by a complaint to the South Africa’s advertising regulator, after a customer objected to the new packaging of Bokomo Rusks.

He told the Advertising Regulatory Board that the new packaging is misleading.

All of the different Bokomo rusks are packaged in the same packets. Most of the varieties weigh the same (500g) - except for two: Bokomo Condensed Milk and Fudge rusks, and the Bokomo Multigrain and Raisin rusks.

The content of the condensed milk version weighs only 450g – and its weight is not on the front of the box, like all the other Bokomo varieties, but on the side, which is not visible on the supermarket shelf.

The complainant thought this was misleading.

Also, he objected to the weight of the Bokomo Multigrain and Raisin rusks, which is only 400g.

While this is displayed on the front of the packet, consumers will presume that the multigrain rusk box weighs the same as the standard variants, he contended.

For its part, Pioneer Foods, which produces the Bokomo rusks, said that it is industry norm to have the same pack size across different rusk variants and weights. Some ingredients are obviously more expensive than others – which is why some boxes contain less rusks.

Confusing packaging weights are not unusual among SA’s stalwart rusk brands, as we found when we compared Ouma rusk weights:

(Pick n Pay)

In its ruling, the ARB found that Bokomo wasn’t misleading consumers with the lighter Multigrain and Raisin rusks packs, as its weight was clearly marked on the box. It was also satisfied with Pioneer’s promise to move the weight of the condensed milk rusks to the front of the box.

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