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Nestlé has a wild take on SA’s new coffee rules

South Africa has strict new rules about what is allowed to be called coffee, and exactly what various coffee mixes must look like.

Ricoffy isn't coffee, and from next year it won't even qualify to call itself a chicory and coffee mixture.

But makers Nestlé apparently has no plans to drop the slogan "SA’s No. 1 coffee brand", or to stop calling it a "chicory and coffee" drink.

Under the company's singular interpretation, the new rules would actually allow consumers to be wildly misled – legally.


On 1 November 2021, strict new rules on what manufacturers may label as coffee will come into full force in South Africa, as part of ongoing regulatory efforts to prevent consumers from being misled.

Anything claiming to be a "coffee mix" will have to be at least 75% actual coffee, for instance, while anything that says it is a mixture of chicory and coffee will have to be at least half chicory.

That seems to require some branding changes for the hugely popular Ricoffy, which is neither majority coffee nor mostly chicory, and so will be denied any formal classification as a coffee-related drink.

But parent company Nestlé apparently has no intention of changing the way it markets Ricoffy, which it describes as "SA’s No. 1 coffee brand".

Instead it has adopted a singular interpretation of the new rules that, if it were correct, would create a legal mechanism for coffee-ish manufacturers to mislead consumers, badly.



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SOURCE: Business Insider SA