Consumer group accuses supermarkets of misleading customers ….
A consumer group has claimed that tomatoes are being wrongly labelled in French supermarkets to give customers the impression they are buying the highest quality. An investigation by the CLCV claims that the big retail chains are capitalising on the popularity of plump, juicy oxheart ‘cœur de bœuf’ tomatoes, and are giving “ambiguous” labels to sub-standard types, calling the them “cœur de bœuf -style” or “from the cœur de bœuf group”.
Cœur de bœuf tomatoes command a higher price per kilo, 28% higher according to CLCV, because they are more scarce and are difficult to keep, typically they last only three or four days.
The consumer association visited all the major supermarkets, Aldi, Auchan, Carrefour, Casino, Cora, Dia, Leclerc and Lidl stores in 24 French departments in May and June and found what it calls mass-produced “lookalikes”. Also only 38% of consumers who took part in taste tests were happy with their taste. A real cœur de bœuf tomato is, as its name suggests, heart-shaped, feels heavy and dense but has a less firm skin than other varieties. Its colour can be anything from scarlet to yellow, orange or green.
The CLCV has called on France’s anti-fraud watchdog DGCCRF to investigate further, and publish details of any sanctions it issues.