Big food brands can lose millions of dollars in sales in just a few weeks when fake health claims are removed. Four brands, including Kellogg's and Dannon Activia, saw sales drop by around $12m almost immediately, new analysis has found.
Four brands-which had made false health claims-were analysed, and their sales tracked while the brand was making the health claim, and again afterwards when it had been removed.
Kellogg's Frosted Mini-Wheats-which had claimed could improve children's attentiveness by 20 per cent-saw sales drop by $3.5m in the US, while Dannon Activia yoghurts, which claimed made bowel movements regular, was down $3.82m.
Its other product, DanActive, which said could strengthen the body's defences, lost $400,000 in sales, and Airborne's nutritional supplements, which guaranteed cold-fighting protection, was down $3.63m.
Most of the sales were lost among new customers who had been attracted to the brands by their health claims, said researchers from the University of Chicago.
(Source: SSRN Electronic Journal, 2015; doi: 10.2139/ssrn.2559980)