A $189 toaster that can’t make toast, sugary snacks and Commonwealth Bank’s children’s saving program have been named this year’s worst products by consumer group Choice.
Choice’s 13th annual Shonky awards also shamed portable cots that put babies at risk of suffocation or having their heads trapped, vitamins that offer a fantasy cure for insomnia and magnetic healing devices based on pseudoscience.
Choice spokeswoman Erin Turner said the awards helped to warn consumers about dodgy products on the market.
“One of our highlights of the Shonkys this year was the KitchenAid toaster that just doesn’t make toast, it fails at its one job – browning bread,” Ms Turner told The New Daily.
“Then there’s the KitchenAid 2-Slice $189 toaster [a different product] and when we tested it we were shocked by how bad it was as it served up dry, slightly warm bread.”
Ms Turner said the CBA was the bank that had done the most harm to Australians.
“CommBank’s Dollarmites earned a Shonky because it’s clear that they need to get their brand out of schools as they have very little to teach children about financial literacy,” she said.
She said Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain To Go range was a classic example of “health washing”.
“We discovered the Nutri-Grain Banana and Honey Smash Protein squeezer, which claims to be an ironman food full of protein, had a whopping 14.7 grams of sugar per packet, with only 5.6 grams of protein.”
Ms Turner said the consumer advocate was alarmed at the results of its tests on portable cots.
“We had to give a Shonky here for several brands who were all bad offenders,” she said.
“We found numerous products that had issues with breathability, [and] mattress firmness, which can suffocate children.
“This category is a perfect example of why there needs to be law reform.”
The affected brands include Baby Bunting (B4baby), Babyco, Babyhood, Baby Bjorn, Kmart (Baby Solutions), Childcare, Elite Baby, Joie, Love N Care, Phil&Teds, Steelcraft, Target and Vee Bee.
Here’s the full list of the 2018 Shonky winners
Portable cots: for putting kids’ safety at risk
Commonwealth Bank: for spruiking banking products in schools
Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain: for putting the squeeze on better health with its To Go range
KitchenAid: for failing miserably at its one job – making toast
Bioglan: for dreaming up a fantasy cure for insomnia
Marriott Timeshare: for passing off a lifetime of debt as a cheap way to take a holiday
Magnetic therapy devices: for using weak health claims to pull on hip pockets