BBB National Programs Archive

Reynolds to Permanently Discontinue Certain Claims for ‘Heat and Eat’ Food Storage Containers, Following NAD Inquiry

New York, NY – March 21, 2016 – Reynolds Consumer Products, LLC, has said that it will permanently discontinue challenged claims for the company’s “Heat & Eat Food Storage Containers,” following an inquiry by the National Advertising Division.

NAD is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation. It is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus.

The claims at issue were challenged by S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc., maker of competing Ziploc-brand plastic food storage containers and included:

  • “Safe alternative to plastic containers.”
  • “Safe alternative to plastic containers in the microwave.”
  • “Ideal for the microwave. Reynolds plant-based containers are a safe alternative to plastic containers.”
  • “Reynolds Heat & Eat containers are a safe alternative to plastic containers and ideal for heating leftovers in the microwave.”
  • “These plant-based containers are a safe alternative to plastic so your meal is worry free.”

In response to NAD’s initial inquiry, the advertiser informed NAD that it had already begun developing redesigned packaging for its “Heat & Eat” Food Storage Containers, and that the new design does not include the word “safe” in the sub headline or as part of any comparison to plastic.

Further, the advertiser stated that none of the claims set out in the challenge would be included in any future advertising of the product or on its packaging and that no reference to “microwave safe” will be made in comparison to plastic containers. Reynolds noted that the challenged claims would not appear in future advertising on social media, on its website or on third party websites selling the products.

In lieu of submitting substantiating evidence, the advertiser advised NAD in writing that it had elected to permanently discontinue the challenged claims. In reliance on the advertiser’s representation that these claims have been permanently discontinued, NAD did not review the claims on their merits. NAD noted, however, that the voluntarily discontinued claims would be treated, for compliance purposes, as though NAD recommended their discontinuance and the advertiser agreed to comply.

Reynolds, in its advertiser’s statement, said the “challenged claims are being discontinued. Reynolds appreciates NAD’s expeditious handling of this matter.”

Note: A recommendation by NAD to modify or discontinue a claim is not a finding of wrongdoing and an advertiser’s voluntary discontinuance or modification of claims should not be construed as an admission of impropriety. It is the policy of NAD not to endorse any company, product, or service. Decisions finding that advertising claims have been substantiated should not be construed as endorsements.