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Ingredients-Focused Commercials

June 1, 2011

Food makers may be realizing that American consumers care about having real food ingredients in our foods. That’s what the new commercial for Kozy Shack puddings is all about: ingredients—how few and how natural they are in their products. I wanted to post the video here but can’t find it online. (Can you?) Here’s my take on the situation.

Thumbs up: The ingredients labels on these puddings are short, and include all-food ingredients or “naturally”-derived colors and flavors. Now, be warned: the terms natural and all natural are not regulated by the FDA, and anyone can use them whenever they want. You can see some of these pudding labels. The guy in this video says they are not artificial (also a term thrown around a lot). They still pass on ingredients though, because every other ingredient is real, and we know that at least some of their colors and flavors are too.

Thumbs down: The company uses sucralose, the artificial sweetener splenda is made from, in its sugar-free varieties. The October 2009 issue of Regulatory Toxicology & Pharmacology reported a study conducted on rats that showed that splenda manipulates the expression of a transporter protein in your gut, which interferes with nutrient and drug absorption. It also increases body weight and decreases beneficial intestinal bacteria. Studies like these are well-known and generally regarded as enough evidence to steer clear of artificial sweetners at this point in the healthy food movements.

I think it’s great that companies are learning to use issues of public health to brag about their products. It’s not a new idea, but it’s a seldom believed-in one. But if companies can truly serve public safety and health concerns in their products, naturally successful marketing strategies will follow.

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