ACCC Takes Coles To Court Over ‘Fresh Baked’ Claims Made On Overseas-Sourced Bread

ACCC Takes Coles To Court Over ‘Fresh Baked’ Claims Made On Overseas-Sourced Bread

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is taking Coles to court, alleging that it sometimes advertised bread as “freshly baked in store” when it was actually prepared off-site and only finished in the supermarket. The reminder for other businesses? Don’t make claims about your product that you can’t substantiate.

According to the ACCC, Coles promoted some of its Coles Baker and Cuisine Royale breads as ‘Freshly Baked In Store’ or ‘Baked Today, Sold Today’ when those breads had actually been partially baked off site, then frozen and shipped to the store for “finishing”. In the case of Cuisine Royale, the preparation sometimes took place overseas. Signage in store was often confusing, meaning it wasn’t easy to tell when the signs applied:

The ACCC is concerned that Coles’ lack of distinction in its promotional representations between bread products that are freshly prepared from scratch and par baked products is misleading to consumers and places competing bakeries that do freshly bake from scratch at a competitive disadvantage.

The ACCC has been conducting ongoing investigations into whether Coles and Woolworths misuse their market dominance; it’s not clear if this issue emerged as a result of those investigations or separately. We’re sure small bakeries will welcome the move, but it’s a reminder to businesses of all sizes not to make claims that can’t be backed up. The case will hit court in August.



  • I don’t care in the slightest! I actually prefer when the bread/pastries have been prepared in Belgium and Germany, shipped here and then baked. Taste a hell of a lot better than the crap you used to get from the in-store bakeries. European bread FTW!

    • Those ‘belgium and germany’ breads? Are probably really made in china and korea then shipped here…

    • lol….mate they aren’t even made in Belgium or Germany. The only country name you might know is Ireland. The other countries, you don’t want to know. Also they don’t live up to Australian Standards….wouldn’t be surprised if I found a big lump of horse meat in mine.

    • in the valley. I have a french bakery/patisserie. shes really french, smoking hot, and bakes wicked shit! I look forward to seeing her every few days haha

  • While they might taste better, it’s the fact that Coles advertising suggests that they are made/baked fresh in store when this may not actually be the case. The issue is false advertising not which product is better.

    • I have to absolutely agree. There is a big difference between “baked today” and “made overseas, frozen and finished in Australia”.

  • I work for Coles and i can tell you that this has been happening for a while, in some stores some of the rolls are made and baked in store but most of the product is brought in frozen and baked onsite.

  • Anyone else curious about the mark-ups on local bread if they can afford to bring overseas-made bread with all associated transport costs and still turn a profit. I think the ACCC needs to look at that a bit more.

    Same thing with Fruit. How can it be possible to bring oranges from america and sell them for $3 a kilo, it surely must cost more in transportation alone.

    • Yep, was thinking exactly the same thing recently with som ebread I bought from coles that was made in Holland… its not like Holland is considered a generally cheap country to buy stuff from… crazy stuff.

  • The reminder for other businesses?

    Coles can do whatever it pleases because it holds a market dominance, and the ACCC is the annoying fly that just won’t get swatted by the newspaper.

  • Clearly Coles is the victim of some typos here, which the ACCC has used to unfairly target them.

    “Freshly Baked In [a] Store [somewhere]”

    “Baked Today, Sold [some other non-bakery stuff] Today”

    Get off their back, ACCC. It’s not Coles’ fault people are too stupid to figure this stuff out. [end sarcasm]

  • So by Coles definition of “baked today” etc, if I get those pre-made bake at home dinner rolls I can tell people I “baked” them myself, because technically I’m not lying. I didn’t actually make them, but I did put them in the oven for a few minutes to finish them off. That counts as baking, right?

  • We enjoy our Canadian bagels from Costco. Costco don’t seem to have been arguing that there was any local involvement in getting the goods onto the shelves – suggesting that ALL the baking occurred O/S.

  • Apparently this has been the business model for all those German bakeries you see springing up all over the place. the import shipping containers of part baked bread from Germany and finish it here. They just don’t try to claim it is freshly baked on site.

    • Just because they say German doesn’t imply their bread is also made in Germany. In fact it is made entirely in another country….fact!

      • That’s a pretty bold statement – two ‘fact’s in one sentence! – for something you can’t possibly be 100% certain of without visiting literally every bakery in the country.

  • I used to be a baker and the actual cost to produce baked goods is so minimal its not funny. The real cost is the bakers themselves who get paid a fairly large amount of money. For large companies not having to pay for the labour would mean they would likely see 1000%gp rather then a paltry 300%gp.

  • I could never understand how they could claim bread imported from overseas was freshly baked. In any case it all tastes terrible compared to something baked fresh from Bakers Delight. The ACCC should target Subway as well, since they just bake off stuff made in factory somewhere too.

    • People always ask me why I never eat subway….it definitely ain’t “eat fresh”. I’ll buy my own locally made bread roll and make it “my way”.

  • This just makes me sad 🙁
    If we can’t even bake our own bread, what hope have we got? The irony is that the bread could quite possibly be coming from China made from wheat grown in Australia, on land owned by a Chinese company.

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