Thursday, May 03, 2018

If You Need Proof The Food Industry Doesn't Care About You, Look No Further Than Smucker's "No Sugar Added" Jam

So I was shopping the other day.

We were making a dish that included apricot jam in a sauce and I was having a peek at the various offerings on the shelves.

I grabbed Smucker's Apricot Jam and noted that the front of its package highlighted the "fact" that it had "no sugar added".

The label of course told a different story.

It told me that the second ingredient was "white grape juice concentrate", which is likely on the order of 60% sugar by weight.

So yes, sugar was added.

I expressed my indignation on Twitter and Smucker's responded to tell me that they appreciated my feedback, that the concentrated white grape juice was meant to add "fruit flavor" as well as serve as a sweetener, and that according to the letter of the law, it was legal for them to state that their product contained no added sugar.
Now the good news is that at least in Canada, the addition of white grape juice concentrate, which of course is just the addition of sugar, will soon preclude Smucker's front-of-package "No Sugar Added" claim.

But of course if Smucker's actually wanted to do right by its customers it wouldn't be waiting for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's regulations to change.

But that's not what Smucker's is about. Smucker's, like pretty much all publicly traded food industry players, is about profit, and their "No Sugar Added" jams are great case studies in how we shouldn't wait for the food industry to do the right thing, because unless the right thing aligns with profits, they're not going to do it.