Thursday, March 7, 2013

Even More on Sugar

A couple weeks ago I wrote about some of the lower-sugar products we've come to rely on, including Oikos Organic strawberry, blueberry, and vanilla yogurt. This week I had a rude shock at the grocery store, when I found that Oikos Organic has been rebranded as Stonyfield Greek, and that in the rebranding process, both strawberry and vanilla yogurts have gone up in carbs (strawberry from 16 to 19; vanilla from 9 to 10). Okay, they've only gone up by a carb or two, which is a small amount even for Bisi. But one carb can send her blood sugar up by six to ten points, depending on the time of day, so it does matter. And I was annoyed in principle. So I emailed the company asking why the carb counts had changed, and quickly got this response:

Hello Katie,

Thanks for reaching out to us about Strawberry Greek organic yogurt. We
added a little more fruit and flavor to our strawberry and vanilla
Stonyfield Greek Yogurts to make them even more delicious. These slight
adjustments changed some of the nutritional information, like the carb and
sugar amounts, just a little bit.

Thanks again for getting in touch. If you ever have another question please
give us a shout.


The folks at Stonyfield

I was glad they responded so quickly, but their response--essentially that they added a little more sugar to make these two kinds of yogurt even more delicious--annoyed me even more. I buy this yogurt specifically because it's *not* as sweet as others, so I don't want sugar added to make it "more delicious."

My mom had a similar experience with her favorite cereal, Kellogg's Special K Protein Plus, which she buys specifically because it's high in protein (10 grams) and low in sugar (2 grams). This summer, she noticed an ominous new banner on the box saying, "Now tastes EVEN BETTER!,"  and realized that they'd more than tripled the sugar, to 7 grams. When she wrote the company, they responded that they were just providing what people wanted.

The thing is, what about the market--it can't be negligible--of people who buy products specifically because the sugar is low? I'm curious how many products over the last year or two have bumped up their sugar to try to bump up their sales? Have you noticed any? I'm going to do my tiny part to show them they have the wrong idea. From now on, when I buy strawberry yogurt, I'll ditch Stonyfield's 19 carbs for Smari's 14. Let's just hope Bisi likes it as well.

1 comment:

  1. The safest thing to do vis a vis yogurt is to buy plain and add your own berries, etc. Whatever you do to your food is going to be better than what a company does to it. In the average US supermarket, it's harder and harder though to find the base product!

    Thank you so much for this blog. Isn't it amazing how life takes us down these unexpected paths and we learn SO MUCH in the process?! You're doing a great service not only to Bisi, but all of us!