(Photo: Helen Peters)
  • A Woolworths customer lodged a complaint about the company's mislabelling of Indian flatbreads as "paratha".
  • The advertising authority found against Woolworths.
  • The retailer is now withdrawing the product from its stores.

The Advertising Standards Association of South Africa (ASA) has ruled that Woolworths mislabelled its frozen rotis as "parathas", unleavened Indian flatbreads.

This follows a complaint from consumer Mervy Dasen, who contended Woolworths are misleading consumers as rotis and parathas are two different products.

Woolworths' packaging of frozen Indian rotis read that a roti is "known in some areas as paratha, this flaky flatbread is the ideal partner to your favourite curry."

"There's no way one can call a roti flaky."
Dasen's complaint to the ASA.

Dasen went as far as submitting a menu from an Indian shop to the ASA, showing the difference between the two products.

Roti flatbread (left) and paratha flatbread (right)

The ASA directorate ruled in favour of Dasen after considering relevant documentation submitted by both the complainant and Woolworths. The directorate found the retailer's promotional packaging to be in contravention of the ASA's code which states that ads "should not contain statement or visual presentation which, directly or by implication, omission, ambiguity, inaccuracy, exaggerated claim or otherwise, is likely to mislead the consumer."

Following the ruling, Woolworths tells Business Insider SA that it has decided to strop production of frozen Indian rotis."We will ensure the removal of the product no later than 31 October 2018," says Woolworths Food's head of innovation, Richard Stockley.

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