Hipp is tricking at the children's sugar tea

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Granules for children's fruit tea withdrawn from the market are still available through a subsidiary

According to the massive criticism of the consumer protection organization Foodwatch, the manufacturer Hipp had withdrawn its instant powder for children's tea, which consisted of more than 90 percent sugar, from the market last year in order to maintain its own reputation. However, the criticism does not prevent the group from continuing to sell the product through a subsidiary, Foodwatch reports in a recent press release. "For Bebivita, a wholly-owned subsidiary, Hipp apparently has overridden its own standards," said the consumer advocate.

According to Foodwatch, the instant children's fruit tea "contradicts all current nutritional recommendations and is also provided with an additive that Hipp himself calls harmful to teeth In a letter, the company boss Claus Hipp was asked to discontinue the products. Foodwatch criticized the fact that the company sold its fruit tea made from granules, which consists of 94 percent sugar, through its subsidiary Bebivita, which violated its own claim to offer “child-friendly” and “healthy” products for children. For example, children should "only drink tea unsweetened, according to all common nutritional recommendations."

Bebivita children's tea with a high sugar content and tooth-damaging citric acid Not only the high sugar content of the children's tea, but also the "acidifying agent citric acid (E 330) contained in it, which is not used by the Hipp brand with reference to health reasons" is extreme in the opinion of the consumer protection organization to be critically evaluated. The Hipp company boasted in public that its products contained “no tooth-damaging citric acid”, but “these concerns obviously do not apply to Bebivita,” criticize the consumer advocates. Since most customers had not previously been aware that Bebivita is a subsidiary of Hipp and there is no indication in this direction on the labels, Hipp did not have to fear any damage to the image. An important aspect because the reputation as a quality brand with products based on mostly ecological ingredients is an essential part of Hipp's marketing strategy.

Hipp Children's Tea Winner of the 2012 Golden Cream Puff Hipp's reputation as a manufacturer of high-quality baby and child nutrition already suffered considerable damage in 2012 after Foodwatch had proven an extremely high sugar content in the granules for children's tea. "Within a few days, 10,000 consumers had already signed a complaint email to the company," Foodwatch reports. With significantly more than 40,000 votes, the product was then voted the Golden Cream Puff 2012 by consumers, a negative price for the brazen advertising lie of 2012. The company quickly recognized what was at stake here and took the sugar granule teas off the market. “Since the end of the year, simple tea bags with no added sugar have been on the market as a replacement product,” reports Foodwatch. However, the old sugar tea continues to be sold under the name Bebivita.

For some products, Claus Hipp prefers not to stand by his name "So there are products for which Claus Hipp does not want to stand by his name - he simply sells them under the name Bebivita", according to Foodwatch. At Bebivita, the standards in terms of quality are obviously different from those of the parent brand Hipp. The much cheaper products, for example, do not claim to be organically grown. But such a high sugar content or the use of tooth-damaging acidulants cannot be justified in the opinion of the consumer advocates. It is clear that tea does not need any added sugar at all - "it doesn't help if Hipp compares it to apple spritzer or lemonade," reports Foodwatch. The news magazine "Spiegel" quotes the food watch expert at Foodwatch, Oliver Huizinga, with the statement: "One would like to take it off Mr. Hipp so much that it is not only about profit, but really also about the health of the children - the product policy the subsidiary Bebivita rather suggests the opposite. "

Attempts by the company to explain Hipp was also offered the opportunity to comment by “Spiegel Online”. In this, the company emphasizes that, of course, "after the increasing discussion about sugar and current nutritional recommendations, the company reacted." The tea range had been adjusted accordingly and, for example, the recommended dosage of Bebivita teas had been halved, which made the sugar content in the drink clear sink. The company seems to forget that the "children's tea" should contain as little sugar as possible. The company's opinion is also questionable with regard to the proven tooth-damaging citric acid in the Bebivita tea, since allegedly they are still looking for ways to stop using the acidulant in the future. This seems to have worked for the Hipp brand for years. (fp)

Image: Ruth Rudolph / pixelio.de

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