Kiwi chocolate makers being assessed over 'misleading claims'

A premium range of “handcrafted” Kiwi classics, made using a 25-year-old family recipe.

That’s how Potter Brother’s Chocolates have pitched their products, but consumers have their concerns.

Courtnay Adele posted a TikTok video earlier this week, peeling back the chocolate coating on top of the company’s Pineapple Pieces.

She claims the chocolates are re-coated Pineapple Lumps.

“I know a pineapple lump when I see one, like a mass made, factory Pineapple Lump, and that’s what this looks like.”

Adele initially posted the clip several years ago on her Instagram account – but it’s had more than 720,000 views since she reposted it on TikTok.

She says, in that time, the Pineapple Pieces have not changed.

She’s not alone, others making similar complaints in online reviews.

Adele says she messaged the company about her concerns and was blocked.

“They never said that’s not what they were doing, they never said that is what they were doing, they just went down these tangents.”

The Levin-based chocolate makers have not responded to 1News’ requests for comment, but in a Facebook post on Thursday, said they would “post a response as soon as they can”.

The company’s caught the attention of Consumer New Zealand, which says it could be breaching the Fair Trading Act.

“We think the way in which the product has been marketed could potentially mislead consumers," says head of research and advocacy Gemma Rasmussen.

“If they’re thinking something is hand-made, they may think that is from scratch, and then if they are then finding a repurposed pineapple lump, then that’s perhaps not what they were expecting to get.”

In a statement, the Commerce Commission says it received an inquiry about Potter Brothers Chocolates earlier this week, which alleges the company made misleading claims about its products.

“We will assess this and consider the information provided," the statement read.

“When considering whether to open an investigation, we take into account whether the law has been breached, the available information, relevance to the Commission’s responsibilities and current work programme, our enforcement criteria and priority areas for new enforcement work.”