Wednesday, October 5, 2016

General Mills Sued over Cheerios Packaging


Slightly over 1/3 of consumers believe food packaging is honest. That’s not good but it’s better than it was just 5 years ago. 65% of consumers are now skeptical of packaging claims.

Last year, the Center for Science in the Public Interest filed suit against General Mills alleging that the claims on the boxes of Cheerios Protein were misleading. A District Court Judge has ruled that the suit can go forward.

Having the word “protein” on the front of the box can make a cereal appear more nutritious but if you do the math Cheerios Protein contains 7 grams of protein per 1 ¼ cups and regular Cheerios contains 3 grams per 1 cup serving. (Note the small lettering on the box where it says “11 Grams of Protein-with milk.”)  But Cheerios Protein is higher in calories, sodium and sugar.

Original Cheerios-100 calories per cup
Cheerios Protein-200 calories per 1 ¼ cup

Original Cheerios-140 mg of sodium per cup
Cheerios Protein- 280 mg of sodium per 1 ¼ cup

Original Cheerios-1g of sugar per cup
Cheerios Protein-17g of sugar per cup

Cheerios Protein contains 10 different kinds of sweetener. I didn’t see that on the front of the box. Did you?

For years now food producers have put whatever trendy catch phrase that was making headlines on the front of the box. (Higher in protein, lower in fat, “Healthy”, Gluten Free, organic, high fiber) Hoping no one would read and compare the actual nutrition data. They even came up with a dozen new names for “sugar”.

Ignore the fancy brightly colored banners on the front and read the nutrition data. And learn the 10 or so different names for sugar.

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