Tuesday, May 18, 2010

What does the term "100% Natural" refer to?

  • Hunt's recently made a big change in their ketchup recipe; the new Hunt's Ketchup is now, to quote Hunt's, "100 % natural."  But wait, what does that mean?  According the the Hunt's Ketchup FAQ page:

    "100% Natural" refers to the use of only natural ingredients, including:
    Garlic and other associated spices
    Um, ok, but why would they do this? Why is the Hunt's Ketchup formula changing?

    More than ever, consumers are interested in products with simpler ingredient lists, and ingredients they easily recognize. They express a preference for food items that are natural or made with ingredients they may have at home. And we're listening and providing consumers with what they want—an entire line of ketchup that is 100% Natural, with 0% high fructose corn syrup.
    Well what's the news media saying about this move?
OMAHA, Neb. — ConAgra Foods Inc. has removed high fructose corn syrup from its Hunt's brand ketchup.
Shoppers have been shying away from high-fructose corn syrup due to health concerns, and it was consumer demand that drove the changes, said Hunt's brand manager Ryan Toreson.
Hunt's is the latest brand to make the shift.
PepsiCo Inc. removed all high-fructose corn syrup from sports drink Gatorade and replaced it with cane sugar.
Some nutritionists cite the syrup as part of the country's obesity problem, though industry scientists and many dietitians say it is no more fattening than sugar.
Corn syrup is popular with manufacturers partly because it is cheaper than sugar.
Hunt's Tomato Ketchup has five ingredients: tomatoes, sugar, vinegar, salt and other seasonings, the company said.
The products should be on all store shelves by the middle of this month.
The price has not changed, the company said.
ConAgra Foods, based in Omaha, Neb., makes brands such as Chef Boyardee, Hebrew National and Peter Pan.

ConAgra Removes High Fructose Corn Syrup from Ketchup Brand

17 May 2010 - ConAgra Foods has announced that it has removed high fructose corn syrup from its Hunt's ketchup products.
"In direct response to consumer demand, Hunt's is pleased to offer ketchup sweetened with sugar and containing only five simple ingredients," said Ryan Toreson, Hunt's Ketchup brand manager.
The reformulated 'Hunt's 100% Natural Ketchup' is now available nationwide at the same price as the previous recipe.

Now let's step back and think about this.... Hunt's made the switch in response to its customers.  In the interest of responding to "consumer demand" they now offer ketchup with only a handful of simple, natural ingredients.

Oh, Audrae Erickson?

Come out, come out, where ever you are! 

Where's the copy/paste block of text-response?  Why have you forsaken us?

Ok, fine.... let's just do her job for her....

Is high fructose corn syrup a "natural" sweetener?
High fructose corn syrup is made from corn, a natural grain product. High fructose corn syrup contains no artificial or synthetic ingredients or color additives and meets the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) requirements for use of the term “natural.” (10)

The FDA stated, referring to a process commonly used by the corn refining industry, that it “would not object to the use of the term ‘natural’ on a product containing the HFCS produced by [that] manufacturing process....” (Letter to Corn Refiners Association, July 3, 2008)

“All forms of HFCS come from corn starch, and are mixtures of the natural glucose and fructose that exist in the starch itself. No artificial ingredients are used in the manufacturing process. The resulting HFCS product is extremely similar to table sugar (sucrose) and has a similar taste.” (“All About High Fructose Corn Syrup.” Food, Nutrition, & Science from The Lempert Report, April 26, 2010)
Oh, look!  a new source cited to promote just how natural HFCS is (never mind the genetically modified enzyme needed to produce this all natural "corn sugar")....

The Lempert Report?  Hmm that sounds scientific.... learned even.... (that's pronounced learn-ed).  Well, what is this Lempert Report?  Who is Lempert?  He must be a medically trained expert who understands the chemical composition of HFCS and is biologically savvy enough to make statements about humans' metabolic response to HFCS intake.  Right?

In his April 30 post entitled: All About High Fructose Corn Syrup, Lempert stated the following:
All forms of HFCS come from corn starch, and are mixtures of the natural glucose and fructose that exist in the starch itself. No artificial ingredients are used in the manufacturing process. The resulting HFCS product is extremely similar to table sugar (sucrose) and has a similar taste.

You see, Lempert, better known as Phil Lempert, is none other than....

Wait, what was that?

That's right,

Here's an excerpt from his "About Us" page:
PHIL LEMPERT is The Supermarket Guru ®

Television & Radio News Reporter/ Newspaper Columnist/ Author/ Consumerologist/ Food Marketing Expert

Phil Lempert can predict the future —and then help businesses and consumers understand it. For more than 25 years, Lempert, an expert analyst on consumer behavior, marketing trends, new products and the changing retail landscape, has identified and explained impending trends to consumers and some of the most prestigious companies worldwide. Known as The Supermarket Guru ® , Lempert is a distinguished author and speaker who alerts customers and business leaders to impending corporate and consumer trends, and empowers them to make educated purchasing and marketing decisions.

As one of America’s leading consumer trend-watchers and analysts, Phil Lempert is recognized on television, radio and in print. He is the food trends editor and correspondent for NBC News’ Today show, where he reports on consumer trends, food safety and money-saving tips, as well as showcases new products. He makes monthly appearances on ABC’s The View , and has appeared numerous times on The Oprah Winfrey Show, 20/20, CNN, CNBC, Discovery Health and MSNBC, as well as on local television morning and news programs throughout the country.

Phil Lempert was one of the pioneers of the new information media, founding SupermarketGuru.com in 1994. The website is now one of the leading food and health resources on the Internet, visited by more than 9 million people each year. SupermarketGuru.com offers thorough food ratings, analyzes trends in food marketing and retail, and features health advice, unique recipes, nutrition analysis, allergy alerts and many other resources to help consumers understand their food, health, lifestyle and shopping options.

Lempert is contributing editor of Supermarket News, which exclusively runs his columns both in its magazine and on its website; as well as a content partner with SN which includes custom consumer surveys and other projects. He has been profiled and interviewed by USA Today, The New York Times , The Christian Science Monitor, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Newsweek and Ad Age , and is interviewed by hundreds of publications each year.

Phil is the founder and editor of several monthly e-publications targeted to consumers and businesses: “ Xtreme Retail23, ” “ Facts, Figures & the Future ,” “Food Nutrition and Science” and “Coffee Chat News.” He also publishes a weekly e-newsletter from SupermarketGuru.com. To sign up for any newsletters, visit the “Your Path to Consumer Enlightenment” section of SupermarketGuru.com.

For 13 years, Lempert has hosted a weekly, live call-in radio show, Before You Bite ® with Phil Lempert , which most recently aired on Lime Radio (previously part of Sirius) . Podcasts of the program, which features discussions of the latest news in health, sustainability and food trends, are currently available on Lime.com.

Phil is a spokesperson for ConAgra Foods and works with various ConAgra brands and their retail partners to help communicate strategies on saving money, healthier eating and food trend information to America's shoppers.

What was that last part?

The world-renowned "Consumerologist" is a spokeperson for none other than ConAgra?

Wait, didn't we just see that Hunt's Ketchup is a ConAgra product?

So wait, one can then assume that THE Phil Lempert, Supermarket Guru, Consumerologist, counseled Hunt's on whether to heed "consumer demand" with regards to HFCS?

Hunt's must have brazenly, foolishly ignored the predictions of....

It is at their own peril that they ignore...

Or maybe, just maybe, Phil Lempert really can predict the future.....

1 comment:


    Guess who said:

    "High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is processed from hydrolyzed corn starch (so it’s not completely natural)"

    That's right....

    Phil Lempert, Supermarket Guru

    Here's the link:
    Why critics say HFCS is a four letter word...that goes right to our waistlines