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January 23, 2017

The New Math at Mio

Filed under: Food/Groceries,Health,Retail — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 6:06 am

Mouse Print* reader Jack K. recently wrote to us complaining about Mio water enhancer. This is a little bottle of concentrated flavor that you squirt into a glass of water to give it some flavor and maybe a few vitamins, all while adding zero calories.

Mio label   Mio side label

Jack says that despite the label promising that the product makes 24 eight-ounce glasses, he was getting much less and felt shortchanged. Since the amount a customer squirts into a glass could vary each time, our intrepid consumer used a measuring spoon, following the instructions on the side of the bottle which called for using about 1/2 teaspoon per glass. Lo and behold when he emptied the bottle he had only been able to make the equivalent of 16 eight ounce glasses of flavored water — one-third less than the package promised.

We did a little math using an online conversion program to find out how many half teaspoons are actually in a bottle whose net contents are 1.62 fluid ounces (48 ml).


Mio conversion

There are about nine and three quarter teaspoons worth of syrup in those Mio containers, which is slightly less than 19-1/2 half teaspoons. So just by pure mathematics, each bottle only holds enough product to make about 19 glasses of beverage rather than the 24 claimed.

We contacted the PR folks at Kraft to ask about this discrepancy. They responded in part as follows, without directly addressing our specific math question and example:

MiO Vitamins and our other MiO products are labeled properly.

Other Mio Vitamins products yield 24 servings and have prep instructions that indicate 1 squeeze of approximately 1/2 teaspoon (~1/2 tsp) per 8 floz. We clearly label that this is 2ml/about 1/2tsp for a 1.62oz 48ml) bottle.

So, if you want 24 glasses of Mio from each bottle, you’ll just have to use your handy 2-ml measuring spoon, which, of course, no one owns.

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  1. It should be pointed out that according to federal law, even if the labeling shows the correct amount of content, the packaging can still be false, misleading and deceptive and this makes the product illegal to sell and/or transport.

    This can result in a lawsuit against the company that will require them to make changes in the container size or put more liquid in the container.

    You could see a class action against this company on the horizon.

    Comment by David — January 23, 2017 @ 9:40 am
  2. 2 ml is .4 (.40568) of a teaspoon, not .5

    This is 23% (23.25%) less than the 1/2 teaspoon stated. That seems like a pretty serious mis-statement, well outside any allowable guidelines and laws on advertising.

    Comment by Leslie — January 23, 2017 @ 10:08 am
  3. I am going to go with Leslie here. This is looks like a major miss label here.

    Comment by richard — January 23, 2017 @ 11:19 am
  4. Thank you for posting the math already, Leslie. Seems like some very convenient rounding discrepancies.

    Comment by Wayne R — January 23, 2017 @ 10:06 pm
  5. I see two distinct problems that were found:

    -As Leslie shared: the “2 ml is .5 tsp” choice of approximation (instead of something closer like “2 ml is .4 tsp”, which is also equivalent to the “5 ml is 1 tsp” approximation [although more precisely, “4.92892 ml is 1 tsp]”). It’s clear the “2 ml is .5 tsp” choice of approximation also yielded the 24 servings number, since 48 ml=(24)*2 ml.

    -The reader who shared this topic only got 16 servings worth, or (assuming .5 tsp = 1 serving) 8 tsp worth of the MiO water enhancer. With 1.62 fluid oz being approximately 9.72 tsp (or 19.44 ~ 19.5 servings, or more than 19 servings) [and that’s a lower approximation, as 48 ml = 9.73844 tsp, or ~9.73 or ~9.74], what happened to the extra 1.72 ~ 1.5 tsp (about 3 or more servings)? Perhaps they were still in the bottle, in tough-to-squeeze-out corners, or no?

    Comment by Josh — January 24, 2017 @ 10:21 am
  6. I’d grant them a lot more wiggle room if they simply stated “scant 1/2 teaspoon”, indicating the measuring spoon should not be filled to the top. Of course, “0.4 tsp” would also work, and require even less space on the label as “~1/2 tsp”.

    Comment by Derlin — January 24, 2017 @ 5:02 pm

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