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Blue Bunny No Longer Real Ice Cream

Blue Bunny ice cream has been a rebel. When other brands downsized to 56 ounces, they stayed at half a gallon. Subsequently when the industry moved to a 48-ounce container, Blue Bunny didn’t follow. But ultimately, they did conform to the now standard 48-ounce size.

The company also saw other brands in the ice cream business like Breyer’s convert some of their real ice cream flavors to “frozen dairy desserts” — a product no longer allowed by federal law to be called “ice cream” because it has less than the required 10% milkfat. Back in 2016, Blue Bunny told Mouse Print*:

[other brands are] electing to stray from the true definition of ice cream and deliver frozen dairy dessert… the quality of our ice cream has not been ignored, in fact our ice cream is better than ever!

Fast forward a few years and so much for that noble stance. Our friend, the Ingredient Inspector, discovered a very inconspicuous change that Blue Bunny appears to have made three years ago. The words “ice cream” quietly disappeared from most of their 48-ounce containers, and “frozen dairy dessert” appeared next to the net weight.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Blue Bunny frozen dairy dessert

Even the best of us would not likely spot that change. But how does that wording change translate in the composition of the product?

*MOUSE PRINT:

Blue Bunny ingredients

Instead of milk and cream as the primary ingredients in the real ice cream product, now skim milk and whey powder predominate in the revised version, and they’ve added coconut oil.

I bet that most Blue Bunny customers never realized the product changed, making this an early example of skimpflation.

For more examples of the ingredients changes in Blue Bunny “frozen dairy dessert” please see the detailed story at the Ingredient Inspector.

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Does Your Fabric Softener Give You the Loads Promised?

Breaking News

If you didn’t see it, President Biden released a video on Super Bowl Sunday warning viewers to check their snack foods because many of them have gotten smaller, costing you more money. He called on manufacturers to voluntarily stop the practice of shrinkflation.


Snuggle 120 loadsA common ploy used by detergent and fabric softener manufacturers is to exaggerate the number of wash loads you get out of each bottle.

Now a Missouri consumer is suing the maker of Snuggle fabric softener for misleading practices (see complaint).

*MOUSE PRINT:

In the 120-load, 96-ounce bottle, there is a hard-to-see diamond-shaped asterisk-like symbol that leads shoppers to a disclosure on the back of the bottle.

Snuggle asterisk
Snuggle back of bottle

It says “120 loads” refers to “regular” loads. However, you have to use double the amount of softener for “large” loads which according to the consumer’s lawyer is the laundry load size that most users do.

19. Because consumers … expect full loads of laundry when seeing the term “load” (instead of half-loads) – consumers are being cheated out of at least 50% of what they expect, based on Defendant’s own measurements.

20. For the vast majority of consumers doing full loads of laundry, the most loads the Product provides softener for is approximately 60 or less, not 120.

The complaint points out that some fabric softener manufacturers play it straight(er) now by saying that the load size shown on the front refers only to a small wash load.

Suavatel

That is certainly better but it is still misleading since the average user does not do small loads according to the complaint.

Why can’t manufacturers just play it straight and tell purchasers the actual number of loads they will get from a bottle based on the way most consumers actually use the product?

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Metro’s $20 Home Internet Has No Catches?

Metro by T-Mobile is a prepaid cell service provider (formerly Metro PCS) that also offers 5G home internet. In this commercial that began running last month, they promise an unbelievable deal — only $20 a month for internet service. And they say there are no catches and no “exploding bills.”



Click arrow to play commercial

No catches? Really?

*MOUSE PRINT:

Metro fine print

In order to get the $20 internet service you have to (1) qualify for the federal Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), (2) buy a monthly cell phone plan from Metro, (3) pay $25 the first month not $20, (4) sign up for autopay, and (5) be able to access the 5G service which is only available in certain cities/areas.

The federal program provides a $30 a month discount to those with households whose income is no more than 200% of the federal poverty level or if at least one person is on Medicaid, Section 8, or one of several other social welfare programs. Metro’s advertised $20 monthly rate already reflects that $30 discount.

On top of all that, this federal program is winding down this week and will no longer accept applications after February 7, 2024! The money for existing enrollees is expected to run out by May. And then, contrary to the Metro’s promise of “no exploding bills,” subscribers’ monthly bills will likely more than double.

Despite the FCC’s January 11 announcement of the end of the ACP program, Metro continued to run the commercials for their $20 internet service at least through January 26.

We asked Metro’s PR folks if it was fair to orally advertise “no catches” (1) when there were so many qualifications only disclosed in fine print, and (2) when the vast majority of viewers will not be eligible for the advertised price. The company responded in relevant part:

We are in the process of replacing this ad prior to the last day of sign ups. {A] key goal of this campaign [is] … to help educate millions of Americans … about a more affordable, flexible option for home internet. Of course, all the advertising always noted that ACP was eligible for “qualifying customers” in larger font.

I’m sorry, the net impression created by that ad is that Metro itself is offering $20 internet with no strings attached. The requirement of first needing to be approved for a federal program is anything but clearly disclosed (and certainly not in large type). It’s great if a company wants to promote a federal program to help lower income people with their bills, but just come out and say that’s what it really is.

In our view, then, this ad is extremely misleading as presented. We’ve asked the National Advertising Division (NAD) of Better Business Bureau National Programs to review the case.

What do you think of advertising like this?

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