In Teekanne, the Court of Justice held that the labelling of foodstuffs may not give the impression that an ingredient is present in a product where it is in fact not present, and this is apparent solely from the list of ingredients on the packaging. The judgment marks a significant realignment of previous cases that had considered the behaviour of consumers regarding the list of ingredients. In prior case law the Court had found consumers to be adequately protected if they had the possibility to gather the respective information from the list of ingredients. In Teekanne, the Court stipulated that such information of the ingredients list is not able to “correct” a “consumer’s erroneous or misleading impression” created by the “overall labelling” taken as a whole. The ruling is potentially the first case in a series of judgments that understands the “average consumer” in a less normative way, and opens up to arguments about the real-world vulnerability levels of consumers.

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Keywords Unfair Commercial Practices, EU law, Average Consumer, Behavioural Law
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Series Wageningen Working Papers in Law and Governance
Schebesta, H, & Purnhagen, K.P. (2016). The Behaviour of the Average Consumer: A Little Less Normativity and a Little More Reality In CJEU's Case Law? Reflections on Teekanne (No. 2016/03). Wageningen Working Papers in Law and Governance. Retrieved from