A new brand of honey appeared on the shelves of Coles supermarkets this week.
Called Smiths, it is packaged very professionally, with an attractive design and the words ‘Pure & Natural’ on the front.
But there are two words that should be found on its packaging, and aren’t – “imported honey”.
Another word that is missing is ‘Capilano’.
Instead, the bottle says it is made by the Honey Corporation of Australia.
The Honey Corporation of Australia is, however, a wholly-owned subsidiary company of Capilano.
And Capilano is the company that controls an estimated 60% of the Australian market, with a big chunk of that coming from its contract to supply honey to Coles supermarkets
Packaging for Capilano’s honey products under the Capilano brand always promotes the claim that their honey is 100% Australian.
But the company is currently experiencing difficulty in securing honey supplies from its usual local sources.
So Capilano has started retailing imported honey in Australia.
But to protect its heavy marketing investment in its Capilano brand as a pure Australian product, it is selling imported honey under different names.
Last month we found that Capilano had revived its Allowrie brand in or order to sell imported honey in Coles.
And this month Capilano is again selling imported honey under a new name – Smiths.
Just like Capilano, Coles promotes itself as a supporter of Australia products and producers.
But looking at the honey shelves in Coles supermarkets, you’d have to at least question both Coles and Capilano’s real level of commitment to Australian producers and to Australian products.
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