Are canned goods a rip off? Study reveals surprise results

Are our canned goods really ripping us off? Source: Getty

Have you ever bought a can of food from the supermarket only to find that there isn’t nearly as much food jammed in as you thought? Maybe you’ve got yourself a can of tuna for lunch and found that half of it was water, leaving one of your sandwiches looking very boring,

The leading consumer advocacy group in Australia, Choice, found that many shoppers have complained about the food to liquid ratio of their canned goods, and conducted a study to get to the bottom of how accurate the labels really are.

The research looked at two samples of each of the nation’s top 27 leading canned products, including some well-loved items such as tuna, corn, beetroot, peaches and chick peas.

The results were surprising, indicating that only four items contained less food than the label indicated.

An incredible 46 actually weighed more than stated, while four contained the exact quantity that was on the packaging.

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Woolworths proved to be the top dogs when it came to the major retailers, with every single one of their cans in the test providing more food than initially indicated on the label.

Coles came in second with just one can providing less food than advertised, while two of Aldi’s failed to meet the target.

With the research finding that companies are more likely to over-deliver, why do we constantly feel like we’re being conned when it comes to our canned goods?

Choice found that people usually feel ripped off because the label can be misleading.

In most cases, the label reflects the net weight, meaning it includes everything inside the can.

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This means if you purchase a can of tuna in spring water, the weight on the front is actually including the tuna and the water. Unfortunately, this usually results in the actual weight of the item being much lower than the weight listed on the label.

We knew we weren’t imagining things.

Thankfully there’s an easy way to determine the food to liquid ratio. If you turn the can and look at the ingredients, it will typically list the percentage of the food inside.

The study also found that cans typically contain anywhere between 56 and 79 per cent of food, with beetroot being the worst offender when it comes to quantity.

Does this research make you sceptical of buying canned foods?

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