"Nice and natural" and "low in sugar" doesn't wash with Consumer New Zealand, which has announced its Bad Taste Food Awards winners for 2017.
The awards highlight food companies marketing their products as healthier choices than they really are, says Consumer NZ chief executive Sue Chetwin.
Many of the products nominated for this year's awards were full of sugar, yet carried claims designed to make them appeal to health-conscious consumers, such as "no artificial sweeteners", "natural" or "fat-free", she said.
Amongst the recipients this year include Pump flavoured waters, which claim they're low in sugar but each bottle has four teaspoons of the sweet stuff.
Both Pams Toasted Muesli and Countdown's Toasted Muesli made the list, with the latter found to have increased the sugar content 44 and 20 per cent respectively since Consumer NZ's 2012 investigation.
Nice & Natural Fruit Snacks and Mother Earth Vege Fruit Sticks, which claim "no artificial colours or flavours" but contain high levels of sugar also made the list.
Other "winners" also include Oki-Doki Marshy-Mallows and Betta Mallow Bakes, Lipton's Ice Tea and Sanitarium's Up&Go breakfast drinks.
Ms Chetwin said although laws were designed to prevent companies misleading consumers about the goods they sell, food manufacturers continued to push the boundaries.
"It's not just sugar that's the issue," she said.
"Food marketers have a variety of tricks up their sleeves to make us think their products are better choices. Our aim is to highlight these claims."
- NZ Newswire