5 of Australia’s worst products announced by 2021 Shonky Awards

Choice have named their picks for Australia’s worst goods and services, handing out five places for the 16th Shonky awards.

The Shonkys are an annual award held by Choice, that honour the worst of the worst products and services that mislead Australian consumers.

Check out this year’s winners (or losers) below.

Choice chief executive officer Alan Kirkland said this year’s categories had a string of surprises. Credit: Supplied by Choice

1 – Breville FoodCycler

One of five ‘lucky’ winners this year was Breville’s FoodCycler, a machine that claims to reduce food waste by over 80% by turning scraps into ‘eco-chips’.

While the FoodCycler is meant to make composting easier, Choice’s tests found the machine was expensive and wasteful.

“Why would you want to spend money on an appliance to reduce your food waste going into landfill when you can buy something that virtually costs nothing to do the same thing?” Choice home economist Fiona Mair asked.

The costs for maintaining the FoodCycler were calculated to be over $2000 over 5 years of using the appliance (initial purchase – $499, energy costs – $86/year, replacement filters – $223/year).

2 – Kogan SmarterHome Bladeless Fan

Another product named in this year’s awards was the SmarterHome Bladeless Fan from Kogan.

At a price of $150 dollars, the fan was easily surpassed by similar products costing as little as $45.

Described as the “worst fan ever”, the fan has a flimsy build and weak motor for its price, earning it its place as a Shonky award winner.

3 – Kiddylicious Strawberry Fruit Wriggles

Kiddylicious Strawberry Fruit Wriggles have made the list of Australia’s worst products due to the way the greenwashed packaging deceives parents.

The kid’s fruit snack contains 68 per cent sugar and costs $150 a kilo, making it another understandable ‘winner’ at this years Shonkys.

Choice said that claims such as “packed with real fruit” and “no artificial additives” were liable to lead parents to believe the product was healthy.

“This product markets itself as a healthy, fun toddler-friendly snack, but the reality is it’s an expensive, sugar-laden dud.”

4 – The Airline Customer Advocate

The Airline Customer Advocate earned itself a spot in this year’s Shonkys, with its ongoing displays of inefficiency, leaving travellers stranded during flight cancellations due to COVID-19.


Last year, they announced they wouldn’t be taking complaints about flight-related problems faced during the pandemic, including being offered flight credit in place of a refund.

The body, funded by Jetstar, Qantas, Rex and Virgin, is meant to provide a “free and independent service” to help with unresolved complaints about airline services.

5 – Humm

Last but not least is Humm, a buy-now, pay-later service which allows customers to borrow up to “$30,000 without a safe lending check

“Buy-now pay-later products have been deliberately designed to avoid safe lending laws,” Kirkland said.

Choice said loans from such companies fell into a gap in safe lending laws. “That means they don’t need to check whether you can afford to repay a debt before they lend you money.”

“Choice asked Humm four times how they check whether they are lending safely and we could not get a straight answer. This is unregulated credit, pure and simple.”

A recent Financial Counselling Australia survey of Buy Now Pay Later services found that Humm was the worst for helping customers in financial difficulty according to chief executive Fiona Guthrie.