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April 28, 2014

Where’s the Beef err… Pomegranate Juice?

Filed under: Food/Groceries,Health,Retail — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 5:36 am

 We’ve done a number of stories about juice products that look like one type of juice, but really are primarily another.

Here’s another egregious example, Minute Maid Pomegranate Blueberry:

Minute Maid

While the company does call this a juice blend, its primary ingredients are neither pomegranate nor blueberry juice.

*Mouse Print:

Minute Miad

Worse than the not-very-surprising fact that apple juice is the primary ingredient, is the actual amount of pomegranate and blueberry juices in the bottle.

According to a lawsuit by Pom Wonderful (not exactly a paragon of straight talk about its own brand of pomegranate juice), the actual amount of pomegranate juice and blueberry juice is tiny:

*MOUSE PRINT:

Coca-Cola’s “Pomegranate Blueberry” product contains only 0.3% pomegranate juice and 0.2% blueberry juice; it consists primarily of (less expensive and less desirable) apple and grape juices, which amount to over 99% of the juice.

What? Just one-half of one-percent of the primary ingredients featured on the front of the bottle? According to Pom’s lawyer, that is about one teaspoon in half a gallon of juice.

It seems to us that Minute Maid left out the key component of this beverage from their ingredients list: baloney!

• • •

March 24, 2014

Muscling In On Your Wallet

Filed under: Health,Internet,Retail — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 6:15 am

muscles

• • •

January 20, 2014

Tropicana Farmstand Fruit/Veggie Juice Surprises

Filed under: Food/Groceries,Health,Retail — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 6:03 am

  Tropicana has a new juice on the market called Farmstand. It is a “100% fruit and vegetable juice” which the company says provides one serving of fruit and one serving of vegetables in every eight-ounce glass.

It comes in such luscious-sounding flavors as Peach Mango, Strawberry Banana, and Pomegranate Blueberry.

Tropicana Farmstand

When looking at the ingredients statement, it may come as a surprise that there is not a lot of strawberry or banana in the product above.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Tropicana Farmstand

Besides water, the primary ingredient is sweet potato juice. Sweet potato juice? Yep. And it has more grape, apple and carrot juice than either strawberry or banana.

Tropicana’s other two Farmstand varieties also are composed primarily of water and sweet potato juice, with the product’s named fruits way down the list of ingredients.

For all MrConsumer knows, these juices are wonderfully tasty compared to the V8s of the world. But funny how the primary ingredient — sweet potato — is almost hidden and not clearly identifiable on both the product label and in their display advertising.

• • •

January 13, 2014

Burger King’s Satisfries’ Fat and Calorie Reduction Claims Unsatisfrying

Filed under: Food/Groceries,Health,Retail — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 6:00 am

  With great fanfare, Burger King recently introduced “Satisfries” — a new crinkle-cut french fry that it claims is much lower in fat and calories:


Satisfries

And they are also running commercials making the same claims:



If you look a little closer, you will see there is one tiny asterisk after the 40% less fat claim, and two asterisks after the 30% less [sic] calories claim. The fine print in the commercial is virtually unreadable.

*MOUSE PRINT:

BK disclaimer

They are not actually comparing the new Satisfries to their own regular fries as most people would believe, but rather to McDonald’s regular fries.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Burger King
BK fries nutrition

McDonald’s
Mcd's Fries

While Burger King’s claims are roughly mathematically correct when you compare equal size portions of their Satisfries to McDonald’s regular fries, BK’s claims exaggerate the calorie and fat reductions when you compare the actual sizes of products you can buy in each restaurant.

Comparing the actual smallest portion you can buy of BK’s Satisfries, which weighs 87 grams, with McDonald’s small size fries which weighs only 71 grams, the BK Satisfries has 27% less fat (not 40% less) and 17% fewer calories (not 30%).

But how do Satisfries compare to BK’s own regular fries, since most people hearing the claim will believe that is the comparison being made?

When you compare the smallest size of BK’s Satisfries (87 grams) with their own virtually equal-sized regular fries (89 grams), Satisfies are only 20% less fatty (not the 40% seemingly claimed), and have 21% fewer calories, not 30%.

• • •

December 23, 2013

McCormick Black Pepper — An Important Source of Antioxidants?

Filed under: Food/Groceries,Health,Retail — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 6:12 am

NOTE: The next new Mouse Print* story will be published on Monday, January 6, 2014 (our trusty mouse needs time off to hunt for his annual supply of dairy-free cheese substitute since unfortunately he is lactose intolerant).



McCormick ran a series of commercials touting the health benefits of its spices. (We reported on their health claims for cinnamon a while back here.)

One commercial proclaims, using words to the effect that “sprinkling black pepper on scambled eggs is an important source of antioxidants”.

Looking on their website, the claim is even made more specific:

Wow, more antioxidants than a 1/2 cup serving of watermelon. Not so fast.

According to the FDA, watermelon is not one of those fruits particularly dense with vitamin C (a key antioxidant).

*MOUSE PRINT:

A serving size is defined as two cups, and contains 25% of the daily requirement of vitamin C. If you wanted to get the equivalent boost of vitamin C from black pepper, you would have to sprinkle about a full teaspoon of pepper on your eggs. Ha choooooo. The recommended 1/4 teaspoon that McCormick suggests that you sprinkle on eggs will only provide you with 6.25% of your daily requirement of vitamin C according to them. Hardly something to boast about as a boost of antioxidants. As noted in the comments (thanks, Leeann), there are other antioxidants in watermelon too, but they are in very small amounts.

*MOUSE PRINT:

NutritionData.com suggests that even a full teaspoon of black pepper is not particularly nutrient-rich (but not all nutrients are listed on nutrition facts labels).

black pepper

In an interview with Ad Age, the company explained their advertising campaign:

The goal is to reach “people who maybe weren’t superinvolved cooks … but were still interested in healthy eating,” said Jill Pratt, VP-marketing for consumer products. The company looked at some common meals “and found a way to make them a little bit healthier by amping up the antioxidants in them,” she said.

No matter how you spin it, black pepper is NOT an important source of antioxidants in your diet based on the amount of pepper you might actually use to spice up an individual serving.

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