Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study Shows Sweetener Marketing Tactics May Mislead Consumers

20.11.2009
Leading medical and nutrition groups, as well as some of the nation’s harshest food industry critics agree that high fructose corn syrup, a natural sweetener made from corn, is nutritionally the same as sugar.

However, new research by the Corn Refiners Association (CRA) shows that marketing tactics used by many food companies to promote their products may confuse and mislead consumers.

Results of a new consumer research study and first-of-its kind marketing analysis of high fructose corn syrup-free marketing claims examined the attitudes, behaviors and beliefs of more than 1,000 consumers* and nearly 175 food companies. Despite very few consumers (3.6%) reporting they have concerns about high fructose corn syrup (down from 8.3% in 2008), 44.3% of grocery shoppers indicate they have heard or read about food products marketed as high fructose corn syrup-free, according to the CRA’s new data.

“It’s easy to see how some consumers could be led astray into thinking foods without high fructose corn syrup are somehow more healthful, but that isn’t the case,” according to nutrition expert Christine Rosenbloom, Ph.D., R.D., professor of nutrition, Georgia State University, Atlanta. Rosenbloom, who contributed to the CRA’s consumer survey design, added: “Products labeled as high fructose corn syrup-free are clearly trying to project a ‘health halo’ that doesn’t exist.”

When consumers, particularly women and parents, are armed with facts about high fructose corn syrup, they often view food companies that market products as “high fructose corn syrup-free” more negatively. According to CRA’s research findings:

• Nearly half (46.9%) of consumers surveyed feel misled by food companies making high fructose corn syrup-free claims

• Women (29.2%) and parents (34.2%) are most likely to feel strongly misled by food companies making high fructose corn syrup-free claims

The CRA survey revealed that while the majority of consumers (54.4%) indicate they always or usually read food labels, women (60%) are more likely than men (45.5%) to examine food labels. According to those surveyed, fat (59.3%), followed by calories (52.3%), sugar (36.8%) and salt (30.9%) topped the list of what nutrients shoppers were most likely to be concerned about in making food choices. Concern over calories made a significant jump from earlier research by the CRA, up from 31.8% in 2008.

“The overall nutrition message that ‘calories count’ is coming through,” said Audrae Erickson, president of the Corn Refiners Association. “When it comes to calories from sugar or high fructose corn syrup, they’re exactly the same. Food shoppers are increasingly aware of that fact, and seeing through marketing tactics that might suggest otherwise.”

High Fructose Corn Syrup Free Marketing Claims Widespread, Often Misleading
CRA reviewed publicly available news releases and/or Web sites of nearly 175 food products and companies – ranging from small food manufacturers to multi-national food manufacturers – which made claims or statements regarding products being “high fructose corn syrup-free” from February 2007 until present.

CRA’s analysis showed that while nearly half (44%) made simple statements without health judgments in calling out products as “high fructose corn syrup free,” a significant number mischaracterized this caloric sweetener in their materials. For example:

• 33% used negative language to characterize high fructose corn syrup, including nearly 4% that made extreme and blatantly false misrepresentations about the sweetener;
• 5% touted sugar as “healthier”;
• 18% claimed high fructose corn syrup is not natural; and,
• 19.5% used qualifiers to imply that products are more healthful without high fructose corn syrup

“It’s ironic that food companies often trumpet products as “high fructose corn syrup-free,” said Rosenbloom, “Can you imagine if a product made with high fructose corn syrup noted it was ‘sugar free’? Thankfully, when the facts are shared, consumers quickly get wise to marketing tactics that paint a misleading picture on health,” she added.

More information is available via www.SweetSurprise.com.

The Corn Refiners Association (CRA) is the national trade association representing the corn refining (wet milling) industry of the United States. CRA and its predecessors have served this important segment of American agribusiness since 1913. Corn refiners manufacture sweeteners, ethanol, starch, bioproducts, corn oil, and feed products from corn components such as starch, oil, protein, and fiber.

*Nationally representative and customized telephone survey of 1,012 consumers, 18+ years old, self-identified primary or secondary grocery shoppers, +/- 3.08 at 95% confidence level. Conducted October 2-7, 2009 by The MSR Group, with question design input and review from Chris Rosenbloom, Ph.D., R.D., Georgia State University. Sample screened out those affiliated with marketing/advertising/research employment, food or beverage processing employees as well as those with diabetes or diabetes in their household. Comparative attitude and knowledge information of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) drawn from identical questions asked of 1,000+ households in telephone survey for Corn Refiners Association in May 2008.

Audrae Erickson | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.SweetSurprise.com

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht First form of therapy for childhood dementia CLN2 developed
25.04.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf

nachricht Do microplastics harbour additional risks by colonization with harmful bacteria?
05.04.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: BAM@Hannover Messe: innovative 3D printing method for space flight

At the Hannover Messe 2018, the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und-prüfung (BAM) will show how, in the future, astronauts could produce their own tools or spare parts in zero gravity using 3D printing. This will reduce, weight and transport costs for space missions. Visitors can experience the innovative additive manufacturing process live at the fair.

Powder-based additive manufacturing in zero gravity is the name of the project in which a component is produced by applying metallic powder layers and then...

Im Focus: Molecules Brilliantly Illuminated

Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.

Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Getting electrons to move in a semiconductor

25.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Reconstructing what makes us tick

25.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Cheap 3-D printer can produce self-folding materials

25.04.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>