This right here? This is just… I can’t do anything but laugh and shake my head.
Please read carefully. From the New York Times:
A reader named Jerrod Savage sends in a couple images that seem to show a rather clever marketing strategy. Turns out that when you reduce the size of a container of Nesquik chocolate syrup, you also reduce the sugar content! It’s possible the actual syrup has less actual sugar — but, judging from the label, it’s also possible that it doesn’t.
Here are the accompanying photos:
…and under any other circumstances, that’d be okay.
However… looking at the back of the nutrition label shows a very different story.
The Nestle website offers us the following information about the labels of these two products:
Now… surely, you noticed that the serving size in each label says “one tablespoon,” yet the amount of sugars (listed under the carbohydrates) in the regular version says “16g,” while the reduced-sugar version reports “10g.”
But wait – did you catch the weight of each “one tablespoon serving?” The weight of the tablespoon in the regular version? “20ml.” The weight of the serving size of product in the reduced-sugar version? “14ml.”
They effectively reduced the amount of sugar in a serving by reducing the serving. Not by reducing the actual sugar in one 20ml serving. They only reduced the amount of a serving by 6ml.
Let’s be clear. When you look at a label that says “33% reduced sugar,” you are basically expecting to be able to ingest the same serving size, and within that serving size you expect to find 33% less sugar. So… in a one tablespoon serving of syrup that measures 20ml, you expect to find less sugar. You don’t expect them to change the serving size on you in order to make that 33% a reality. That’s not how that works.
When you think about it – it’s hella deceptive though, right? I mean, I can get a tablespoon of anything… and I can either leave my tablespoon overflowing or I can only fill it partly. Whichever makes the best sense in my case. And, well… if I want to imply that I’ve reduced the sugar by 33% in a serving of my product… what better way to do that (without altering the sweet taste that you’ve come to love) than by just reducing the actual serving of the product by 33%… thus effectively reducing YOUR sugar intake by 33%?
That is… if you paid enough attention to the fact that your serving size just shrunk.
Clever, right? C’mon, give ’em props!
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