Retailers misleading customers with copycat packaging

12 April 2013

cocopops copycat

Which!!! aren't happy. They've been buying own-brand 'Choco Rice' instead of Coco Pops. And they really, really hate inferior chocolate flavoured rice snaps.

And so, they've gone off on one, railing against shops that 'borrow' the packaging of well-known brands. You've seen the like - deodorants that copy Lynx, cod-Jaffa cakes, faux-Typhoo and cream crackers in orange packets that aren't Jacobs.

According to the watchdog's findings, a fifth of their members said they had accidentally bought a supermarket version of a favourite brand and 60% of those said it annoyed them or made them feel misled. Which!*£{\ also found that there's over 150 own-label products that mimick famous packaging.

Aldi, Asda, Lidl, Morrisons, Sainsbury's, Boots, Superdrug and Tesco were named and shamed for stocking these budget lookalikes.

However, it isn't surprising that these products exist as everyone is looking for a smaller shopping bill, and Which!%/@ found that 18% of members had deliberately bought own-label products because they looked like the brand equivalent, with 60% of these doing it simply because it was cheaper, and 59% wanting to see if it was much cop.

British Brands Group director John Noble said: "Our research shows that consumers are more likely to buy own-label products if they look like brands. Brands survive by being distinctive and standing out, and retailers are free-riding on brands' reputations. Currently in the UK there is little to stop a competitor packaging its product to look like a familiar brand, whether or not the product's performance is in any way similar."

"That can't be good if we want a market in which shoppers can make informed decisions at speed."

A Which!!!!!!!!!! spokesperson said: "Own-brand products can provide good value and several have topped our tests to become best buys. But retailers should make sure that people are under no illusions about what they are buying and not leave so many consumers feeling that they have been misled."

TOPICS:   High Street News   Supermarket


  • lolwut
    Really? If its that big of a problem for brands, maybe they should make their prices more competitive.
  • JJ
    If you can't tell the difference between those you should be shot.
  • andy y.
    So, a rip-off of someone else's work,passed off as the original. Just like this article
  • William
    I am a packet of Kellogg's Corn Flakes (750g) and believe that; "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery".
  • Captain.Cretin
    Vanity - stops you from wearing your glasses and noticing the boxes are different, yet still lets you complain about it. (For my mum, who went shopping and bought limescale tablets instead of dishwasher tablets because they were in the same colour boxes).
  • stiffmeister
    "a fifth of their members said they had accidentally bought a supermarket version" then 1/5th of which subscribers are morons,though not surprising considering which publish rubbish that can be bettered by any google search and they have people paying for there cruddy reviews etc
  • Dick
    How can anyone not tell the difference between CHOCO RICE for COCO POPS? The clue is in the name of the product.
  • Peter T.
    I am not sure why this is news. I worked for Asda in 1993/4 and they were doing exactly the same, especially with beer and cider. Same colours, similar names and fonts. I don't think anyone with two brain cells together was fooled.
  • Tess C.
    But people with more than one brain cell don't shop at Asda...
  • Zeddy
    Harvest Morn is an Aldi brand and we know the type of people who shop there. Asda wannabees.
  • _me_
    People who make comments like that ^^^ are the sort of people that think that Class and Money is linked. The last couple of times I've been in Aldi, it's been full of proper country folk and horsey types buying fresh meat and alternative cleaning products before completing their shopping in Waitrose!
  • Zeddy
    You've not quite grasped the level/type of comments on here, have you? New here?
  • Grammar N.
    John Noble is an idiot - "Currently in the UK there is little to stop a competitor packaging its product to look like a familiar brand, whether or not the product’s performance is in any way similar" - there is the well established law of Passing Off and, even better, Trade Mark infringement.
  • LancerVancer
    Choco Rice is made from monkey byproducts. Other than that, who really cares? This has been going on for years. Flex with the herb.
  • Samantha
    I buy a lot of own brand stuff, frequently it's just as good, I tend to only buy branded things when they're on offer. But surely there is a good reason for own brand packaging mimicking the brand leader, and it's not to trick people, it's so people can make the comparison. Tesco's own brand cream crackers are clearly comparable to Jacob's even if you don't think they're as good. As a customer if you're in the cracker aisle looking for cream crackers, you will be looking for an orange packet. There so much stuff on those shelves sometimes it's like where's wally, you can be staring right at it and not see it. If Tesco's cream crackers were in a blue packet you'd probably assume it was an entirely different product and glance right over it.
  • Lord S.
    If it was called Kolleggs choco popps, i'd understand. It's just Which!"£$%^ trying to justify themselves again.
  • Avon B.
    Nothing new here. Asda were taken to court years ago by United Biscuits to stop them from selling Puffin biscuits. Like anybody cares.
  • shiftynifty
    Is this another press release from the university of stating the bleedin obvious...piffle!!
  • Phil M.
    I'm surprised only a fifth of their readers were confused/upset by the similarities, considering five fifths of their readership are drooling idiots.
  • chewbacca
    @Philbit McD Strangely, there's a similar percentage of fucking retards on here. You fucking morons.
  • Sporky M.
    Yes, there is four of us and you.
  • the c.
    @Forky MacScone So, four fifths retarded morons then? Excellent.
  • Sporky M.
    Aaahhh! You got me! You got me. You're a bantermeister aren't you. All hail chewbie!

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