mouseprint: fine print of advertising
Go to Homepage

Subscribe to free weekly newsletter

Mouse Print*
is a service of
Consumer World
Follow us both on Twitter:

Updated every Monday!   Subscribe to free weekly newsletter.

August 26, 2019

Otter Pops: 100% Fruit Juice, or Are They?

Filed under: Food/Groceries,Health,Retail — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 5:56 am

Rachel K. recently bought her kids some Otter Pops as a summer treat. The variety she purchased, being a health conscious mother, was labeled “100% fruit juice.” For those unfamiliar with this item, they are plastic sleeves filled with juice that you serve frozen.

Otter Pops box

Looking at the ingredients statement, this sharp consumer noticed something completely unexpected.


Otter Pops ingredients

That’s right, sugar! She rightfully asks how can this product advertise that it is 100% fruit juice when it has added sugar. In fact, the nutrition facts statement says it has three grams of added sugars. That means these pops have almost 50% more sugar than regular apple juice.

FDA regulations seems to require manufacturers to add a statement after a 100% juice claim if it contains non-juice ingredients. In the case of added sugar, it might have to be labeled “100% juice with added sweetener.”

21 CFR 101.30 (3) If the beverage contains 100 percent juice and also contains non-juice ingredients that do not result in a diminution of the juice soluble solids or, in the case of expressed juice, in a change in the volume, when the 100 percent juice declaration appears on a panel of the label that does not also bear the ingredient statement, it must be accompanied by the phrase “with added ___,” the blank filled in with a term such as “ingredient(s),” “preservative,” or “sweetener,” as appropriate (e.g., “100% juice with added sweetener”), except that when the presence of the non-juice ingredient(s) is declared as a part of the statement of identity of the product, this phrase need not accompany the 100 percent juice declaration.

When we questioned the FDA directly about products like Otter Pops, they indicated that this regulation only applies to beverages and thus is not applicable because this product is a frozen treat. In that case, less specific regulations apply, and the FDA spokesperson said the agency would likely accept the labeling as it currently appears.

However, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, said in comments to the FDA about a related regulation that “One hundred percent juice must be precisely that – 100% juice product from the fruit(s), exclusive of any other non-fruit juice ingredient, like added sugar.” And if does have added sugar, that fact must be clearly stated upfront.

We asked the company if they could understand how consumers are being misled by their front label and inquired on what basis they believed they were in compliance with FDA rules. A public relations spokesperson for Jel Sert, the manufacturer, responded:

“The Otter Pops label complies with the regulations promulgated under the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, with the label stating “with other ingredients added.” We are confident that our packaging is accurate and does not contain misleading information.”

In our mind, stating on the front label in small type that the product contains “other added ingredients” is insufficient to overcome the impression created by the phrase “100% fruit juice” in much larger letters. Most consumers would understand “100% fruit juice” as a product having no added sugar.

Share this story:

• • •


  1. 100% misleading.

    Comment by Shawn — August 26, 2019 @ 11:39 am
  2. If they added juice to the juice, would that make it 110% juice?

    Comment by Skippy — August 26, 2019 @ 2:36 pm
  3. Apple is one of the sweetest juices. It’s mind boggling that they need to add sugar, that is, until you notice the first ingredient – water – which has obviously diluted the juice and made it less sweet. Wouldn’t the water fall under the non-juice diminutive ingredients rule? Oh yeah, I forgot. It’s not a beverage. Complete scam, brought to you by your friendly FDA.

    Comment by Bob C. — August 26, 2019 @ 3:20 pm
  4. How come you aren’t calling them out on the fact that the FIRST ingredient is WATER? It’s not 100% juice if the first ingredient is WATER!

    Edgar replies: The apple juice is from concentrate so it has to be reconstituted with water. Typically it is one can of concentrate to three cans of water.

    Comment by Gert — August 26, 2019 @ 5:32 pm
  5. This sugar is minor when compared to Snapple. Snapple adds 49 grams to their mango tea which has 2 g ofvtegular sugar.
    The added sugars should be noted upfront on everything as it can be deadly for a diabetic

    Comment by Rich — August 26, 2019 @ 9:43 pm
  6. 2% “other ingredients”. So even if you give them a pass on the water, isn’t it 98% juice?

    Edgar replies: Robert, you’re forgetting the added sugar which is some percent of the total in addition to the 2% other stuff. But even if it was 90% juice, the point was that shoppers don’t expect that there will be added sugar in a product labeled “100% fruit juice.”

    Comment by Robert — August 27, 2019 @ 10:37 am
  7. Yes the label is misleading but fruit juice has never been a healthy choice. They always contain an insane amount of sugar and lots of the nutritional value has been filtered away.

    If you still want to have fruit juice, here’s a tip: dilute it with water. 50/50. You may notice it’s less sweet the first couple of times you try it, but trust me that you’ll get used to it very quickly.

    Comment by Pierre — August 27, 2019 @ 11:56 am
  8. Many commenters have already mentioned things that I want to say, but this line is also confusing:

    “Naturally flavored with other natural flavors”

    I have seen this redundant wording on other packages so I am assuming that FDA requires it in order to differentiate natural flavor of the main ingredient from natural flavor from other ingredients

    Comment by Wayne — August 29, 2019 @ 11:06 am

Comments RSS

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Powered by: WordPressPrivacy Policy
Mouse Print exposes the strings and catches buried in the fine print of advertising.
Copyright © 2006-2020. All rights reserved. Advertisements are copyrighted by their respective owners.