Thursday, October 11, 2012

Badvertising: Dole Dark Chocolate Coconut Bites

"Real fruit in every bite".

Must be good for you, no?

And yet looking at their nutrition fact panels I learned two things.

Firstly that despite there being "fruit in every bite", no bites contain any vitamin C - odd given vitamin C is something I thought was found in most "real" fruit.

Secondly that these are pretty much nutritionally equivalent to Chips-A-Hoy cookies though to be fair they do contain 20% fewer calories and 10% less sugar.

Here's a shopping tip for you: If you put "fruit" in a cookie, it's still a cookie.

Eat cookies because you love cookies, but don't let someone dupe you into thinking you're making a healthful choice or that fruit-inclusive cookies somehow are a "better" cookie choice.

Less bad is not the same as good.

Bookmark and Share


  1. speaking of fruit claims ~ when one of my boys was preschool age, he brought home some of those fruit snack gummies and tried his best to convince me they were real fruit because of what was on the packaging. marketing works extremely well on young kids so it's good to talk about food (and the advertising). thanks yoni!

  2. David B.8:20 am

    "Less bad is not the same as good." -- This is an extremely key point that a lot of people seem to miss. I'm not just talking about companies with a motive to sell their products -- I'm talking about websites that are claiming to show "healthy" foods, recipes, etc. So often I see a recipe that says it's "Healthy" Such-and-So. Then it turns out to have 900 calories per serving or something ridiculous, but it has more fiber or olive oil instead of butter or something. Ugh!

    1. Linda H7:52 am

      Great mantra! It's so easy to think of something "low fat "or "light "as being healthy and a green light to indulge!

  3. Anonymous10:35 am

    Advertisement in another direction - Received the below email today and watched the short film. What do people think about The Real Bears campaign?
    For the past 10 months we have been quietly working on a secret project aimed at repositioning soda and other sugary drinks from a source of happiness to a disease-promoting source of sadness.

    Today we are announcing the world premiere of The Real Bears, an animated short film featuring an original song by Grammy-award-winning singer songwriter Jason Mraz. The Real Bears tells the story of a family suffering from the adverse health impacts of soda consumption, including weight gain, obesity, and tooth decay, as well as diabetes and its associated complications, including amputation and erectile dysfunction.
    In the film's stirring conclusion, the family of Bears decides to reclaim their health-and their happiness.

    Soda and sugary drinks still are the biggest single source of calories in the American diet, accounting for about 7 percent. And while Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and other soda companies spend lavishly to position the products as sources of happiness, sugary drinks are directly linked to obesity and diabetes. Each additional sugary drink consumed per day increases the likelihood of a child becoming obese by about 60 percent.
    Drinking one or two sugary drinks per day increases one's risk for type
    2 diabetes by 27 percent.

    The Real Bears family learns-like many real American families have-that these conditions and their complications are sources of sadness, not happiness.

    We may not have Coke's or Pepsi's advertising budgets but we do have the truth. And now we have The Real Bears. Please watch the film today:


    Michael F. Jacobson"

    1. Anonymous1:41 pm

      Yoni, I was hoping you would comment on "the real bears" in a future post. Is this effective or is this overly simplistic and promoting weight bias?

  4. The things that companies do just to up their sales-- I never really checked though, but are fig newtons any good at all? I always chose them over chips ahoy thinking it would be the healthier option.

  5. My 13-year old son really found reading this together to be entertaining. Thanks for that. He's already saavy enough to be skeptical of claims like this.

    I credit watching Idiocracy and having the phrase "but it's got electrolytes in it" seared into our brains.

  6. but these are so yummy............