Sunday, April 06, 2008

Celli "Olive Oil" Ripped Me Off!

The other day I bought the olive oil, pictured fuzzily to the right, for $4.99 at the last minute at the checkout counter at Kissena Farms. I had just finished up my previous bottle on a baked potato, so I thought I would restock.

It is incredibly misleading. They make you think that it is 100% extra virgin olive oil, while in reality it is only 15% olive oil and 85% soybean and sunflower seed oil.

They accomplish this in several ways:

1. They make the words "Extra Virgin Olive Oil" nice and large, in a bright orange color, with normal printed text, and with good contrast with the background such that it jumps out at you.

2. Right above it, they put the words "Mediterranean Blend Oil & Italian." They do not use the names "soybean oil" or "sunflower oil" so that there is nothing the mind might easily interpret. They make it a different color than "Extra Virgin Olive Oil," so that you don't think it is part of the name of the contents, but rather perhaps part of the brand. They use a smaller font, and make sure it is script rather than printed block text, to make the customer less likely to read it. "Extra Virgin Olive Oil" is bright orange on a light green and grey background, which makes it easy to read. For "Mediterranean Blend Oil & Italian," they use a darkish greenish gold, which is harder to see, matches the color of the oil. And the word "Oil" they place on top of the green background, such that the contrast is awful and the consumer is likely to simply read "Mediterranean Blend Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil." Extremely sneaky.

3. They put 100% on the top, next to "All Natural" in script, to reinforce the idea that it is 100% olive oil. But it is 100% All Natural, but the blend I mentioned above. Extremely sneaky.

My impression is that this has to have been designed deliberately like this, to mislead people into buying the product. It is always possible they simply had incompetent designers, and this happens to work to their favor. I doubt it.

There are laws against false advertising. Perhaps there should be some sort of control for exceptionally misleading and deliberately misleading advertising.


Leora said...

We noticed a similar issue with Gefen pizza sauce. I was in the Pesach section of Shop Rite, and two of us were looking at tomato sauce. "Too bad this has cottonseed oil," she said. "No, it doesn't," I said. Turns out we were looking at very similar jars, but mine said fat-free and had no oils listed in the ingredients. Hers said olive oil on the front, but the back ingredients listed cottonseed oil. Misleading.

Lion of Zion said...

try pumice olive oil if you are looking to save a few bucks on olive oil. or go to costco


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