Government regulations in the food industry generally require truth in advertising about a product’s ingredients. It makes sense that a company should not be able to advertise its product as “100% fresh ground beef” if the product was neither fresh nor made entirely of beef. In Finland this concept has been applied strictly, causing one company to reclassify one of their top-selling products: meatballs.
Food manufacturer and distributor Kelso was forced to change the name of its product in because there simply is not enough meat in them. The company maintains that the product consists of 52% meat, but under the law of the land, not all parts of an animal can be properly classified as “meat.”
The contents in question come from the part of the animal that is mechanically separated from the bone — parts that are typically thrown away as waste product. For the food formerly known as “meatballs,” the extensive use of the otherwise-wasted part of the animal means that the zero percent of the product consists of what the law defines as “meat.”
Since “meatballs” is a misleading term, they simply removed “meat” from the labelling. Grocery shoppers in Finland may now peruse the frozen food section and choose a bag of frozen “Balls.”