Do “Healthy” Product Names Deliver on their Promise?

The wonders of food marketing never cease to amaze, and infuriate. Fooducate community member Cassie posted the front and back of a bag of  Snyder’s eatsmart Naturals Garden Veggie Sticks – Potato, Tomato, & Spinach.

What a name for a product:

  • eatsmart – yessir, we all want to do that
  • Naturals – nature is good
  • Garden – sounds like you grew it in your backyard
  • Veggie sticks – vegetables are the epitome of health
  • Potato, Tomato, and Spinach – where can you go wrong – these 3 winners pack almost all the vitamins and minerals you need.

These bags should be flying off the shelves.

Now let’s take a look at the nutrition and ingredients to see what’s really going on.

What you need to know:

A one ounce serving is about 2 cup fulls of puffy sticks. It has 140 calories and 6 grams of fat. There is no trans-fat. The sodium level is relatively low at 120mg. Unfortunately the vitamin and mineral content is very disappointing, as you can see in the label on the right.

Now for a look at the ingredient list:

Potato Flour, Potato Starch, Expeller Pressed Sunflower Oil, Corn Starch, Rice Flour, Tomato Paste, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Spinach Powder, Turmeric.

On one hand, everything looks pretty much understandable. There are no artificial colors or fake flavors. (Potassium chloride is a salt substitute.)

On the other hand, when one thinks of veggie sticks, you would expects real pieces of potato, carrots, and the like. Not a potato flour. Not spinach powder.

So does this processed product stand up to its name?

As snacks go, this is not the worst of the lot. The flavors come from real ingredients such as the tomato paste and the turmeric. But it is still a salty snack with very low nutritional value. It certainly does not live up to the hype machine that is its name.

What to do at the supermarket:

Our recommendation – never make a purchase decision based on information on the front of package. Always look for the full disclosure found in the nutrition label and in the ingredient list.

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  • Zorbs

    While I’m not deluded into thinking these are actual pieces of the veggies listed, it is the kind of snack I tend to buy because of the simple ingredient list.

  • Tt

    The worst is weight watchers products, fooling people into think they are eating healthy nutricious meals when they are laoded with transfat and sugars

  • Haterhaute

    Well if anyone seriously thinks that they’re going to get out of eating vegetables by picking up a bag of this, then.. well then I just don’t know what. If there were someone out there with that exact line of thinking, I think we should all weep for humanity.

  • Blacksheepx4

    While not perfect, its better then most.

  • Michael Angyuelo

    just read an add concerning loosing weight eating African Mangoes, you may order them through this web page, I believe that some or maybe bunch of them are going to believe them and rush to buy the scam.
    Dear naive friends,mango is a Mango any where we don’t have to go to Africa to get and eat a delicious Florida Mango, there is not any difference between them. I just know that the ingestion of food in excess, make you fat and I know that in Nazi concentration camps, the people had no African Mango diet, just no food, so my conclusion is less and walk more. You can eat five times a day and loos weight, AHHH, but the secret is what you eat, for example I was over-weight and my blood sugar was very high, my Doctor told me that I must loose weight or loose my life. I decide to live and proposed to my self, ” we are going to eat like rabbits, one portion of mixed salad cooked with chicken or any protein I like boiled with V-8 juicy or similar, ad condiments as you like, I personal like Garlic & Parsley with some Olive Oil, them after the ingredients start to boiling I ad past, ( rigatoni, shells, cannelloni, pene-pasta,linguini,potini, Etc.) you may choose all-wheat or carb-less pasta and this will be the only hot meal of the day, if you feel hungry, take it as a men (women) and drink plenty water, by-the-way, this is the best beverage you can have, also “Te” without sugar with a lemon and just a little of pure honey, after this big meal of the day you can snack one fruit every three ours, at night a cup of soy-milk with chocolate and a piece of wheat bread, no bigger than your fist or two slices of wheat bread. Oh, I forget, at breakfast, a cup of soy milk with espresso coffee, one diet sweetener
    omelet, and “barabin-babun” you will loose weight like craze.
    together with this diet you must program your inner mind, positively, every day, every hour,every minute like this “subconscious mind, I need your help, kill my hungry pain and make me forget, those days of excess eating, make me strong and happy, make me loose the excess of fat.”
    Thanks

  • AndyLiz

    Yes, not a nutritive food, but if it’s a choice between these and Cheetos – these are a better option. I’d like to believe anyone concerned about what they consume understands these are chips – not real vegetables.

  • FrugalArugula

    I’m not sure I like the better by comparison thinking here. That is exactly what the advertisers are preying on.

    There’s really no substitute for real food. Boiled/baked/oven roasted potato, spinach and tomato salad sounds pretty awesome to me…tomato sticks just sound creepy.

  • FrugalArugula

    I’m not sure I like the better by comparison thinking here. That is exactly what the advertisers are preying on.

    There’s really no substitute for real food. Boiled/baked/oven roasted potato, spinach and tomato salad sounds pretty awesome to me…tomato sticks just sound creepy.

  • http://twitter.com/lauren_015 Lauren Smith

    I had this experience with my friend yesterday in Target. I was trying to find some munchies for the drive home because I was exhausted from a day of shopping and still had quite a drive ahead of me. I knew the cans of mixed nuts were my most nutritious option, but I was in the mood for something slightly more “naughty.” I was admiring Annie’s Organic snack mixes, well aware that it wasn’t NUTRITIOUS, but at least they were empty calories free of additives and preservatives. Meanwhile, my friend was looking at the other snacks and commenting on how they promised to be “all natural.” I almost choked. I always forget that other people still believe in front-of-box labeling..

  • Michael Angyuelo

    I just read an add concerning loosing weight eating African Mangoes, you may order them through this web page, I believe that some or maybe bunch of them are going to believe them and rush to buy the scam.
    Dear naive friends,mango is a Mango any where we don’t have to go to Africa to get and eat a delicious Florida Mango, there is not any difference between them. I just know that the ingestion of food in excess, make you fat and I know that in Nazi concentration camps, the people had no African Mango diet, just no food, so my conclusion is less and walk more. You can eat five times a day and loos weight, AHHH, but the secret is what you eat, for example I was over-weight and my blood sugar was very high, my Doctor told me that I must loose weight or loose my life. I decide to live and proposed to my self, ” we are going to eat like rabbits, one portion of mixed salad cooked with chicken or any protein I like boiled with V-8 juicy or similar, ad condiments as you like, I personal like Garlic & Parsley with some Olive Oil, them after the ingredients start to boiling I ad past, ( rigatoni, shells, cannelloni, pene-pasta,linguini,potini, Etc.) you may choose all-wheat or carb-less pasta and this will be the only hot meal of the day, if you feel hungry, take it as a men (women) and drink plenty water, by-the-way, this is the best beverage you can have, also “Te” without sugar with a lemon and just a little of pure honey, after this big meal of the day you can snack one fruit every three ours, at night a cup of soy-milk with chocolate and a piece of wheat bread, no bigger than your fist or two slices of wheat bread. Oh, I forget, at breakfast, a cup of soy milk with espresso coffee, one diet sweetener and a egg’s-white omelet, and “barabin-babun” you will loose weight like craze.
    together with this diet you must program your inner mind, positively, every day, every hour,every minute like this “subconscious mind, I need your help, kill my hungry pain and make me forget, those days of excess eating, make me strong and happy, make me loose the excess of fat.”
    Thanks
    Michael Anguelo
    manguelo@bellsouth.net

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/G7ECTIL3CALURFF3JHTOXVHMCE Jack Thomson

    Tapioca flour, or more appropriately – cassava flour, is still produced and consumed in tropical countries where the cassava plant is indigenously grown. Native Potato Starch