Diet-conscious consumers are probably attracted to low-fat products. And in the case of potato chips, they probably feel a bit less guilty indulging in that treat if it contains less fat.
Enter Cape Cod 40% Reduced Fat potato chips:
Now don’t assume that the reduced fat chips on the right have 40% less fat than the Cape Cod regular chips on the left.
The reduced fat chips contain 40% less fat than the market leader, Lay’s potato chips. Lay’s has 10 grams of fat per ounce, Cape Cod 40% Reduced has six grams – 40% less as advertised, and regular Cape Cod has eight grams. This means that Cape Cod Reduced Fat chips contain 25% less fat than their own regular chips — still a substantial savings.
Dieters, however, are not only concerned about fat but calories as well. Would you care to venture a guess as to how many fewer calories Cape Cod 40% Reduced Fat chips has compared to their regular chips?
What? The lower fat chips have exactly the same number of calories — 140 — as their regular full-fat chips? Yep, that’s what the nutrition (alternative?) facts label says.
How can that be? The portion size is exactly the same – 28 grams — as is the number of chips per portion, but there is 25% less fat in one product.
So we posed that very question to the PR folks at Snyder’s-Lance, the makers of Cape Cod chips. And we also wanted to know whether they felt they had an obligation to dispel the likely consumer misimpression that their 40% fat reduced chips were lower in calories than their own regular variety. In reply, after three attempts to obtain answers, all the company (through their PR firm) would say relevant to our questions was this:
With regards to the calories in each item, we adhere to the strict FDA regulations that dictate how companies must calculate and report nutritional information.
Clearly something just doesn’t add up here. The company should be able to explain to customers how it is possible that their substantially reduced in fat product offers no caloric savings if in fact the label is correct.