On behalf of its subsidiary Pacific Foods, Camden-based Campbell challenged Oatly’s “no added sugars” claims to the National Advertising Division of the Better Business Bureau, an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation.
Oatly has 8 grams of naturally occurring sugars per serving. Pacific Foods oat milk, by contrast, contains 17 grams of naturally occurring sugars.
Campbell contended that the “no added sugars” claim is misleading because “the hydrolysis process, which turns oats into oatmilk, creates sugars ‘in situ’ as the oats are broken down into smaller components.”
By NAD’s recommendation, Oatly agreed to remove the language from its advertising.
NAD did not assess Oatly’s use of “no added sugars” on its Nutrition Facts Panel as it concluded that Nutrition Facts are not advertising.
The company said it “supports the self-regulatory process and agrees to comply with NAD’s recommendations,” and that it is continuing to seek greater regulatory clarity regarding hydrolysis related sugars, according to a release.
A spokesperson for Campbell said they were satisfied with Oatly stopping the use of “no added sugars” in its advertising.
“In keeping with our commitment to transparency, we feel it’s important for everyone to play by the same rules,” the spokesperson said. “We want people to have accurate information, so they can make the choice that’s best for them.”
A spokesperson for Oatly had no further comment.