Here's additional evidence that the marketing ploys employed by the processed foodstuffs companies work.
Log Cabin recently released an “all natural syrup” that comes in a jug resembling an authentic maple syrup jug (photo, right). The product, though, is not real maple syrup.
Instead, its ingredients are “syrup (brown rice, sugar, maple [4%]), water, natural flavor, xanthan gum (natural thickener), caramel color, citric acid.” Technically, it is all natural—dog doody is all natural as well—but the labeling and packaging also make it mighty deceiving.
How do I know?
One of my clients just bought this Log Cabin product to improve on the Aunt Jemima syrup her family was previously consuming. Her reason was straightforward and typical.
“It was in the jug and it said ‘All Natural,’” she said.
I mentioned this episode to Tony Van Glad, who sells his maple syrup (photo, below) at a local farmers’ market. He knew about the product, as the New York State Maple Producers Association (he sits on its Board of Directors) sent a letter of complaint in September to the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets questioning Log Cabin’s labeling and packaging.
“It misleads the consumer into thinking they are buying real maple syrup,” Van Glad said.
Van Glad said the letter, which was also sent to local and state elected officials, further questioned why the Log Cabin product was shelved in such close proximity to real maple syrup. Its cheaper price could additionally sway purchasing decisions.
The Maple Producers Association recently heard back from the state, which said it is looking into the issue. I know a consumer who will provide expert testimony if asked.