How We Got Sucked In by the Marketing Hype… Posted on August 6, 2018

Icecream - An Apple a Day
Yesterday I was approached by a beautiful young woman who offered me a sample of a new product that had just hit the market. It was a frozen fruit “soft serve” that was made using “100% real fruit” (her words, not mine). I have to admit that I was intrigued and given that the product had melted a little, it did look a lot like my version of “nice-cream” (frozen banana and strawberries whizzed in the Thermomix) however, I politely declined before continuing my search for an ATM. 

Before too long I returned to find Andrew (my husband) with a sample pot of this “real fruit” soft serve in his hands. He told me that it was dairy free, gluten free, refined sugar free and made with 100% real fruit and suggested I try it. As I perused the packaging for clues, I realised that I had seen the same product being promoted at our local health food store – I wondered if they could be really be telling the truth? I grabbed the spoon and had a small taste. Whilst I will admit that it was a tasty dessert, what I did notice was that it tasted nothing like “real fruit”. I quickly grabbed my phone and hit google in an attempt to investigate. 

The Claims
It’s basically a soft-serve ice-cream that comes in a variety of flavours. There is a bit of hype around the product, so I decided to summarise the marketing material below. The product is:

  • Gluten free
  • Dairy free
  • Fat free (Red Flag)
  • Made with 100% Aussie Fruit
  • “Whipped with air and then frozen”.
  • Has less than 75 calories (which is less than an average apple) (Another Red Flag)
  • It is now being trialled in McDonalds and 7/11 Stores around the country. 

The Truth?
Whilst this dessert is gluten free, dairy free, fat free and made with Aussie fruit (well, what’s left of it), there is a whole lot more we need to be aware of. The ingredients list reads as follows:  

  • Reconstituted Juice Pear and Apple Juice Concentrates (more about reconstituted juice here)
  • Strawberry Puree
  • Refined Fruit Juice Concentrates (juice is produced from a juicing machine, which then has as much water removed from it as possible, reducing it to a to a concentrate).
  • Maltodextrin (Maltodextrin is a white powder often used in processed foods as a thickener or a filler as well as in pharmaceuticals as a binding agent).
  • Vegetable Gums (412 – Guar Gum, 415 – Xanathan Gum, 407 – Carrageenan) NOTE: Carrageenan (407) is often used in yoghurts and ice-creams. It has been linked to cancer and is not recommended in large quantities for young children.
  • Natural Colour (163 – Anthocyanins, use with caution)
  • Natural Flavour (Not Disclosed)
  • Aerating Agent (Hydrolysed Vegetable Protein – is produced by boiling foods such as soy, corn, or wheat in hydrochloric acid and then neutralising the solution with sodium hydroxide)
  • Emulsifier (471 – Mono and diglycerides of fatty acids)

What I realised is that the marketing companies are getting “health savvy” and as a result, as the consumer, we need to be more vigilant. Instead of asking whether or not something ticks the GF, DF, Sugar Free boxes, we need to ask to see a list of ingredients. 

The verdict? Companies are using selected “health buzz words” to convince you that their product is worth buying. As a result, it’s our job as consumers to start asking some serious questions. 

REMEMBER: 

  1. When something sounds too good to be true (i.e. something made with real fruit but has less calories than a single piece of fruit), it usually is.
  2. The list of ingredients never lies 
  3. Real food doesn’t come with labels. 

NOTE: This blog is designed to educate the consumer and equip them with the right tools to make their own informed choices. I have intentionally not mentioned the product name in this post in a bid to avoid any problems with product manufacturer, I hope you can respect this decision. 

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Written by Alyse Co-cliff

Alyse Co-cliff

Holistic health coach, Author, Speaker and Passionate Whole-Foodie committed to helping others nourish their body from the inside out.
"It's all about simple, effective nutritional advice and real time solutions for the busy individual. Good health doesn't have to be hard work" Alyse x



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