Misleading Food Package Claims

Posted by: Ellen Schuster, BA, MS on Monday, September 17, 2018

Misleading Food Package Claims

Article originally appears in the September 13 issue of the SNEB eCommunicator

There are too many misleading food package marketing claims to contain in one place. This article focuses on two...the first, ‘made with’ claims, the second, the use of words that may lead consumers to believe the food is good for their health.

‘Made with’ claims
Fruits and veggies are good for us, right? So if a food is ‘made with real fruit’ or ‘made with spinach’ it’s a healthful choice. This misleading claim often uses pictures to bolster their claims.

**Pressed fruit and spinach wraps
Pictures of real fruit on the package, mostly juice/purée concentrates as ingredients. Garden spinach herb wraps are green...good! Turns out the spinach is spinach powder used for flavoring.
https://www.nutritionaction.com/daily/what-not-to-eat/have-you-been-tricked-by-these-foods/

**16 most misleading food labels
Pic #12 - fruit roll-ups have a picture of fresh strawberries on the front but the ingredient list indicates the ‘fruit’ is pears from concentrate and strawberry flavor.
https://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20599288,00.html

**Don’t fall for some of the latest misleading ads
California Pizza Kitchen’s cauliflower crust’s calories are about the same as other frozen pizzas.
https://www.nutritionaction.com/daily/what-not-to-eat/dont-fall-for-some-of-the-latest-misleading-ads/

**Oprah Winfrey partners with Kraft to launch line of frozen pizza with cauliflower crust
Each serving of O, That’s Good cauliflower pizza crust has less than 1/2 cup of cauliflower.
https://www.cnbc.com/2018/08/22/oprah-winfrey-partners-with-kraft-to-launch-line-of-frozen-pizza-with-cauliflower-crust.html

**Veggie pasta: healthier choice or marketing hype? 
A licensed nutritionist compares ‘veggie’ pasta to pasta made with real veggies and finds the pasta made with real veggies a better option.
https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/health-fitness/healthy-eating/ask-the-diva/veggie-pasta-healthier-choice-or-marketing-hype

**Cutting through the hype: Are those ‘veggie pastas’ actually good for you? 
A registered dietitian finds that some ‘veggie’ pastas that say they have a full serving of vegetables actually represent a larger serving than typical. One brand uses dried veggies, another, puréed. One suggestion...veggie or spiralized noodles in place of pasta.
https://verilymag.com/2017/12/what-type-of-healthier-pasta-is-best-for-you

Words that may lead consumers to believe foods are good for our health
**How food packaging claims can fool you
Buzzwords include a claim such as ‘simple’ which doesn’t have any clear definition nor is it regulated by the FDA, a candy ‘made with honey’ has four other kinds of sugar.
https://www.consumerreports.org/food-labeling/how-food-packaging-claims-can-fool-you/

**9 misleading food labels 
A registered dietitian nutritionist reminds us that ‘lightly sweetened’ has no common definition nor is it regulated.
http://www.ymcamidtn.org/healthy-living/9-misleading-food-labels

**6 meaningless claims on food labels
‘Lightly sweetened’ - it’s not regulated nor commonly defined.
https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/01/28/six-meaningless-claims-on-food-labels/

**How much sugar do consumers expect in a ‘lightly sweetened cereal’? Judge certifies classes in Kellogg added sugar case
Although not the final judgment, a judge says claims such as ‘lightly sweetened’ can be certified (certification allows a class action lawsuit to proceed).
https://www.foodnavigator-usa.com/Article/2018/08/27/How-much-sugar-do-consumers-expect-in-a-lightly-sweetened-cereal-Judge-certifies-classes-in-Kellogg-added-sugar-case#

And for fun, a rogue’s gallery...
Are these the biggest food lies? 
Food package pics with some big food packaging faux pas
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/food/article-4252170/Are-biggest-food-lies-ever.html