A perceptive shopper has questioned the motive behind a popular tomato sauce brand updating their packaging.
A Reddit user called out MasterFoods on the popular forum 'Australia' for switching up the label on their iconic tomato sauce, suggesting the brand was attempting to distract shoppers as they use less Australian grown produce.
“What’s going on with MasterFoods tomato sauce?” the reddit user dubbed 'Shikatanai' wrote.
“New packaging tries to hide that they’ve gone from Aussie grown to imported?”
The user posted two images of MasterFoods Tomato Sauce bottles.
On the right was an older bottle showing a large label promoting the iconic Australian condiment as “100 per cent Aussie Grown” and on the back in smaller writing it read “Made in Australia from at least 97 per cent Australian ingredients.”
Next to it, a newer bottle of the sauce advertised the product was simply “Made in Australia”, however on the back of the bottle the packaging read “Ingredient sources vary - average 35 per cent Australian Ingredients”.
Image sparks fiery response from social media users
The images sparked a strong response from proud Australians who felt MasterFoods was being "sneaky" with labelling and urged others to boycott the brand.
"People who give a s*** about it being made in Australia will notice. Everyone else won't care anyway," one person commented.
"Stop buying that s*** immediately," another person wrote.
A few users suggested MasterFoods have two different varieties of tomato sauce and the product with more local ingredients would be priced differently.
"I would say it is a seasonal thing, only getting Aussie tomatoes when they are cheaper than importing them. For me paying an extra 20cents for the MasterFoods Aussie farmers tomato sauce is worth it," one user commented.
MasterFoods importing tomatoes to supplement supply
Others felt the labelling was confusing and could mislead shoppers wanting to support local farmers.
A spokesperson for Mars Food Australia - which owns MasterFoods - confirmed to Yahoo News Australia the brand carries five different tomato sauce products including a standard tomato sauce with varied ingredients from different locations based on availability.
"Because our standard tomato sauce sells at much higher volumes, we can’t always get the quantity of tomatoes we need locally due to the the seasonal nature of tomato production in Australia, as well as issues such as floods, fire and drought, so we use a balance of Australian tomatoes and tomatoes imported from North America (USA)," the spokesperson said.
For those who prefer to buy tomato sauce that uses Australian grown ingredients, the spokesperson said MasterFoods carries the product Aussie Farmers tomato sauce, which uses 100 per cent Australian grown tomatoes and is available in Coles, Woolworths and independent stores all year round.
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