Kraft Nutritionist Responds to Our Belvita Review. Read This

bel Vita

A few days ago we posted a review of Kraft’s new line of breakfast cookies, Belvita. Our bottom line was that as far as cookies go, it was OK. However, for breakfast, there are better options.

We were contacted by Kraft’s PR agency with the following:

…I’ve included some information about the nutritious sustained energy belVita Breakfast provides, the whole grain content and how belVita can be enjoyed as part of a balanced breakfast. I would be more than happy to connect you with a nutrition representative from Kraft to further discuss.

•       Quality Carbohydrates: belVita Breakfast is a nutritious choice that delivers quality carbohydrates. Each 50-gram serving is an excellent source of whole grain, providing 18-20 grams of whole grains per serving. Nutrition experts recommend eating three or more servings of whole grain foods per day (about 16g whole grain per serving or at least 48g per day).  

•       Nutritious Sustained Energy: One of the unique benefits of belVita Breakfast biscuits is the regular and continuous release of carbohydrate to fuel the body throughout the morning. This nutritious sustained energy is a result of specially selected wholesome ingredients and a carefully controlled baking process. 

•       Part of a balanced breakfast: Enjoy belVita Breakfast Biscuits as part of a balanced breakfast with a serving of low-fat dairy and fruit, such as low-fat Greek yogurt and berries. 

That sounds like a whole bunch of healthwashing to us, so we asked some more specific questions. We got answers yesterday afternoon.

Q:           What makes this product any more “slow release” than a whole grain piece of toast?

A:            We can’t speak to other foods, but belvita Breakfast Biscuits provide a slow release of carbohydrates throughout the morning due to the combination of grains and special baking process.

Q:           How many people enjoy Belvita “as part of a balanced breakfast” vs eating only Belvita for breakfast?

A:            Our biscuits were developed specifically for breakfast and we recommend they are paired with a piece of fruit and serving of low fat dairy for a balanced breakfast, in line with nutrition expert and government dietary recommendations. As you can see on our packaging, advertising and marketing materials, we consistently communicate this positioning to our consumers, and suggest ways to enjoy belVita as part of a balanced breakfast on-the-go – e.g. with a banana and a low-fat latte, or with yogurt and fruit.

Q:           Wouldn’t it make sense for all the flour in Belvita to be from Whole grain? That way the fiber would be higher.

A:            With belVita, the combination of ingredients is as important as the baking process. We took time to find the right combination of grains that are slowly digested to provide sustained energy over the course of the morning.

What can we say. Guess we missed the “special baking process” and the “special combination” of “slow release grains” that Kraft has somehow managed to discover while the rest of the world was sleeping. Nutrition marketing at its finest…

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  • Sarah Meas

    hahah wonderful ……

  • EVIL food scientist

    I’m surprised that the fine folks at Kraft foods haven’t learned one of the most basic lessons of the internet, don’t feed the trolls and don’t respond to rabid critics.  Nothing you do will help. 
    I looked at the poopstorm that was the response to Kashi trying to introduce a line of non-GMO, “all natural”, (insert make Fooducate happy here hot button) products.  The entire page of comments (not on Fooducate, on Kashi’s website) were from pissed consumers and former consumers screaming that they were being lied to, that Kashi wasn’t doing ENOUGH, that “big corporate food” is again, EVIL (hence my username on this site). There were zero responses that said “nice try, good step in the right direction”.
    Kraft, unless you have 100% identity preserved non-GMO heirloom grains harvested with a sickle and lovingly ground by local artisans who then mix the product one bowl at a time and pat out the biscuits-cookies-food wads by hand, nobody here is going to be happy.
    God help you if you use a color, flavor, or some functional ingredient that has more than 2 syllables.

    • http://www.fooducate.com/blog Fooducate

      Actually, we appreciate improvements the food industry is undertaking. We don’t appreciate healthwashing.

      • fooducation sinners

        Oh, horseshit. Fooducate is one big healthwashing moneygrab peddling opinionated misinformation to the gullible masses. Go fooducate yourselves.

        • Mdeva

          I agree with you – horseshit is probably more nutritious than these Kraftoids.

      • Robbert Norton

        Can you clearly define — in words that have less than three meanings each — what “health washing” is? Do you have a posted definition that is set in stone, agreed upon by the industry, and policed by anyone other than you? “Healthwashing” is not a real word, and as a made up word like SMURFING, all you are doing on this site is playing a game of “I’m going to make up a word, you guess what it means, and I’ll give you some examples and tell you when you’re right and wrong” which is a really fun game for five year olds who crave control in a world in which they feel they have none, so adults play along thinking it’s cute for a while, but it eventually gets pretty old and Daddy wants to go have a beer and a smoke and talk with other adults about stuff that matters and makes a difference in the actual world in which we live. So if my kid’s word is a new word that means something, I’ll maybe tell my friends at work about how smart my kid is, if it’s just a game, I don’t tell anybody cuz who the hell cares? “Hey, look! My kid is experimenting with power and corruption! At the tender age of five! Isn’t that cool?”

    • Robbert Norton

      Here here! (I wrote my comment above yours prior to reading yours — I am glad someone else sees this behavior plainly. I’m all for completely perfectly regenerative food production ingredients and techniques. As soon as someone invents a time machine, apparently, we’ll get there. The Human Race’s inability to grasp the doing of the work escapes me.

  • Annabelle, Memphis

    I have to side with Kraft on this one. It seems they really did make an effort to produce a reasonably healthy biscuit to complement fruit or yogurt for breakfast. Certainly better than, say, PopTarts or Cheetos. But ideologues at fooducate cannot entertain the notion of a convenient balanced breakfast…and just because it is Kraft it must be bad. What if some grubby hippie-dippy outfit had come up with this same idea, marketed it the same way (to be eaten with fruit, etc) and especially if they had priced it through the roof? Well, fooducate would be swooning and fawning and drooling all over such a heroic foodie product, no? If Kraft’s effort is all wrong how, exactly, would you make it acceptable…apart from keeping a bunch of whole oats in your hip pocket and munching on those through the morning? Stupid foodie bigots!

  • Lauren

    I wish that all nutrition PR people gain massive amounts of weight or suffer from metabolic syndrome. There should be some bad food karma for all of this “special baking process” baloney.

  • http://twitter.com/tiffany_britton Tiffany Britton

    They keep saying “whole grain” but the grain is never specifically named. Which one is it?
    And the special baking process…what does that even mean? I know, it’s rhetorical, because you don’t know, either.
    I’m glad you asked the question about people eating only the belVita, as opposed to enjoying belVita as part of a balanced breakfast. They know people will only eat the cookie, and probably eat two or three at a time to fill up.

    • EVIL food scientist

      The whole grains are spelled out in the ingredient statement.  It’s rolled oats and rye flake for two of the cookies, and whole wheat flour for the apple cinnamon cookie.

  • I C BS

    Kraft makes a genuine effort any this is your response? Unable to find any value in a step in the right direction? Screw you dumbassed agenda-puking foodie ideologues. Suck it fooducate. You are nothing but an agenda whore.

  • Suzielouwho

    I’m surprised Kraft didn’t refer to the actual clinical trials with this product that I think have been peer-review published – but I might be wrong. The trials made it possible for them to use the “sustained energy” claim with EFSA.  It may be viewed as “healthwashing” but I do appreciate that they went to great lengths and expense to create a product and prove it does what it says.  I lived in the UK for a few years and “biscuits” for breakfast are pretty standard morning fare.  I will correct Kraft’s PR folks in that the FDA told General Mills the term “excellent source” cannot be used for whole grains b/c no official dietary recommended intake value has been created. And no, I do not and have never worked for Kraft Foods.

  • PrincessDianne

    THANK YOU, Fooducate.  As someone who is always learning about food and how to make healthier choices, I really appreciate the way you review foods with balance and objectivity.  It’s a rare thing today and I hope you never lose that edge.  (And as far as the breakfast cookies are concerned, I’d rather have QUALITY than cookie!)  

  • Pingback: The Frugal Dietitian » Blog Archive » Kraft Nutritionist Responds to Fooducate’s Belvita Breakfast cookie Review. Read This

  • Jancblawat

    As a diabetic, I read “sustained energy” to mean that the flour and sugar in this thing will raise my blood sugar too high and keep it there too long.

  • Foodie Sam

    First, these are actually very good as far as flavor, they pack a great deal of whole grain into a reasonable amount of food, and I for one am a fan. I don’t know anything about “slow release grains” and clearly neither did the PR agent Fooducate spoke with. That’s because they are not paid to understand the exact process, and no matter how health nuts scream and yell, their baking process is proprietary and they have a right to protect it. It’s a breakfast cookie. Just be happy it doesn’t contain half your daily fat. I would be curious to know whether or not Fooducate did follow up on the contact info they were given and if so what Kraft had to say.

    • http://www.fooducate.com/blog Fooducate

      Hey Sam, the response was from Kraft’s in-house dietitian, via their PR firm.

  • L DS

    It comes in a fancy, packaged box with buzz words like “golden oat” and “nutritious.” Kraft has already fooled 75% of the population right there. People looking for nutrition in a box will not care what’s printed or commented on here. Kraft knows this. That’s the reasoning for the warm, “wholesome” coloring of the box, using oats/wheat, etc. This IS pure hogwash. It comes from a box. It isn’t nutritious, wholesome or good for me and on the shelf it will stay.

  • Cactus_Wren

    Instead of making a puffed-grain product, they’ve saved all the puffery for their nutrition claims.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Larry-Johnson/100000219967041 Larry Johnson

    Why are the apple cinnamon all broke up when I get them they look like they were handled by a mad gorrila. I can not swallow one whole But they are hell to spread peanut butter on in such small pcs Lar

  • connie

    So, this breakfast cookie is got GMO ingredients in North America! But in Europe it says on the box No GMO stuff in it!?!????

  • ckayed

    I have been eating belVita for breakfast for the past week and they do everything the Kraft rep says and more. I eat them with my coffee at around 7:30am and do not even think about food or get hungry until Noon or 12:30pm. I have started eating a half serving as a dessert to help fill me up after lunch and dinner. I have tried other “breakfast bars” and these are hands-down the best.

  • Robbert Norton

    Though I applaud your Intent on the whole, I personally feel you may have crossed a line or two) with your review. I am a consumer of Bel Vita breakfast Biscuits, and am in no other way affiliated with the fact that they are here on the planet for the taking. I happened upon Bel Vita biscuits while on a terrible bender in San Francisco. A friend of mine who was helping to make this bender a pleasant experience suggested them whilst shopping for sustenance. He said “These are great. Grab a couple of boxes.”
    Being that he was in many ways sharing his wealth of experiences with me, I obliged. I was so pleasantly surprised by this product’s satisfaction of its claims on the box, I’ve been buying them in droves ever since. Even when I had nothing else to eat all day, a pack or two of these “bickies” will get you through. I like them with a latte in the morning or for a snack. The Cinammon Brown Sugar are delicious. Though I cannot yet fully explain the science which dictates their pharmacokinetic magic in terms of gastrointestinal conversion of these simple ingredients or the baking process via which they are made ready for this Newtonian feat, I believe all the nutritionist at the company is saying is “We don’t really get it either, we set out to make a good-tasting whole grain (read ‘healthy’ cookie and realized at some point they’d be awesome for breakfast which leant itself (as a purpose discovered after the fact) to our choice of breakfast-friendly flavors as opposed to your standard cookie.” Because we don’t always understand how the human body works entirely yet, there are going to be a few surprises here and there which I like to call “happy path” — as long as they aren’t actively lying to you (the nutritionist is clearly avoiding lying to you at all costs, even at the risk of potentially coming off as ignorant) then give them a break maybe? I’d rather a company realize “Hey! These are pretty darn great! I’ve had energy all day! And LOOK! These are relatively healthy alternatives to many people’s entire lack of breakfast when ‘on the go’! Let’s sell ‘em!” And not wait until they’ve got all these i’s dotted and t’s crossed. You guys are just too rough on that part of your reviews and it’s starting to make me mad. Is there room for improvement here? Sure, there always is. Why don’t you grade twice? Once on a curve compared with other foods out NOW and readily available in your local [insert terrible heArt-of-processed food darkness store name here] and once on a “What we’d like to see from this product In the near future” — try saying “You did this, which was excellent, do more of that!” To these companies and you’ll have a lot of influence in the long run and people will continue to use your site. I predict, though, if you don’t start working with these companies instead of against them, you’ll have a whole bunch of customers on your site who just sit around talking about how much the state of food in the world is — and who needs more ways to feel crappy about what we’re eating?

    Sent from mobile while wanderlusting somewhere out there

  • Robbert Norton

    Though I applaud your Intent on the whole, I personally feel you may have crossed a line or two) with your review. I am a consumer of Bel Vita breakfast Biscuits, and am in no other way affiliated with the fact that they are here on the planet for the taking. I happened upon Bel Vita biscuits while on a terrible bender in San Francisco. A friend of mine who was helping to make this bender a pleasant experience suggested them whilst shopping for sustenance. He said “These are great. Grab a couple of boxes.”
    Being that he was in many ways sharing his wealth of experiences with me, I obliged. I was so pleasantly surprised by this product’s satisfaction of its claims on the box, I’ve been buying them in droves ever since. Even when I had nothing else to eat all day, a pack or two of these “bickies” will get you through. I like them with a latte in the morning or for a snack. The Cinammon Brown Sugar are delicious. Though I cannot yet fully explain the science which dictates their pharmacokinetic magic in terms of gastrointestinal conversion of these simple ingredients or the baking process via which they are made ready for this Newtonian feat, I believe all the nutritionist at the company is saying is “We don’t really get it either, we set out to make a good-tasting whole grain (read ‘healthy’ cookie and realized at some point they’d be awesome for breakfast which leant itself (as a purpose discovered after the fact) to our choice of breakfast-friendly flavors as opposed to your standard cookie.” Because we don’t always understand how the human body works entirely yet, there are going to be a few surprises here and there which I like to call “happy path” — as long as they aren’t actively lying to you (the nutritionist is clearly avoiding lying to you at all costs, even at the risk of potentially coming off as ignorant) then give them a break maybe? I’d rather a company realize “Hey! These are pretty darn great! I’ve had energy all day! And LOOK! These are relatively healthy alternatives to many people’s entire lack of breakfast when ‘on the go’! Let’s sell ‘em!” And not wait until they’ve got all these i’s dotted and t’s crossed. You guys are just too rough on that part of your reviews and it’s starting to make me mad. Is there room for improvement here? Sure, there always is. Why don’t you grade twice? Once on a curve compared with other foods out NOW and readily available in your local [insert terrible heArt-of-processed food darkness store name here] and once on a “What we’d like to see from this product In the near future” — try saying “You did this, which was excellent, do more of that!” To these companies and you’ll have a lot of influence in the long run and people will continue to use your site. I predict, though, if you don’t start working with these companies instead of against them, you’ll have a whole bunch of customers on your site who just sit around talking about how much the state of food in the world is — and who needs more ways to feel crappy about what we’re eating.

  • Robbert Norton

    Though I applaud your Intent on the whole, I personally feel you may have crossed a line or two) with your review. I am a consumer of Bel Vita breakfast Biscuits, and am in no other way affiliated with the fact that they are here on the planet for the taking. I happened upon Bel Vita biscuits while on a terrible bender in San Francisco. A friend of mine who was helping to make this bender a pleasant experience suggested them whilst shopping for sustenance. He said “These are great. Grab a couple of boxes.”

    Being that he was in many ways sharing his wealth of experiences with me, I obliged. I was so pleasantly surprised by this product’s satisfaction of its claims on the box, I’ve been buying them in droves ever since. Even when I had nothing else to eat all day, a pack or two of these “bickies” will get you through. I like them with a latte in the morning or for a snack. The Cinammon Brown Sugar are delicious. Though I cannot yet fully explain the science which dictates their pharmacokinetic magic in terms of gastrointestinal conversion of these simple ingredients or the baking process via which they are made ready for this Newtonian feat, I believe all the nutritionist at the company is saying is “We don’t really get it either, we set out to make a good-tasting whole grain (read ‘healthy’ cookie and realized at some point they’d be awesome for breakfast which leant itself (as a purpose discovered after the fact) to our choice of breakfast-friendly flavors as opposed to your standard cookie.” Because we don’t always understand how the human body works entirely yet, there are going to be a few surprises here and there which I like to call “happy path” — as long as they aren’t actively lying to you (the nutritionist is clearly avoiding lying to you at all costs, even at the risk of potentially coming off as ignorant) then give them a break maybe? I’d rather a company realize “Hey! These are pretty darn great! I’ve had energy all day! And LOOK! These are relatively healthy alternatives to many people’s entire lack of breakfast when ‘on the go’! Let’s sell ‘em!” And not wait until they’ve got all these i’s dotted and t’s crossed. You guys are just too rough on that part of your reviews and it’s starting to make me mad. Is there room for improvement here? Sure, there always is. Why don’t you grade twice? Once on a curve compared with other foods out NOW and readily available in your local [insert terrible heArt-of-processed food darkness store name here] and once on a “What we’d like to see from this product In the near future” — try saying “You did this, which was excellent, do more of that!” To these companies and you’ll have a lot of influence in the long run and people will continue to use your site. I predict, though, if you don’t start working with these companies instead of against them, you’ll have a whole bunch of customers on your site who just sit around talking about how much the state of food in the world is — and who needs more ways to feel crappy about what we’re eating?

  • Anon

    Thanks for the non-bias info!

  • Cismyname

    I try to eat healthful things about 85% of the time, however I really like chocolate cookies. I was highly suspicious of these because everything says”whole grain” these days, but it is usually just wheat flour and a ton of sugar. These were actually on sale one day so I bought the chocolate ones. They are not overly, cloyingly sweet (though they do tend to stick to my teeth and require brushing- could be the oat flour) and they seem to be low in saturated fat, so I consider them not-the-worst-treat. I think that the so-called food scientist (fs) should have elaborated on any nutritional value they have, what is special about their grain content, and why they are better than say, double stuffed oreos. Since the fs just repeated a mantra to you, the response has not convinced me that they are. I wanted to read some reviews to get other opinions, but the comments here are a little snarky and not too substantive. If they actually have one or more fs who worked formulating these, they should have better information.

  • Disappointed.

    I have to agree that belvita is yet another marketing gimmick. This product is nothing more than a healthier-than-average cookie. That’s why it’s found in the cookie aisle.

  • Chemicals.

    Agreed. B.S. One bite into the blueberry variety and I knew it was B.S.

    Why?

    One bite into the blueberry flavor, and it’s exactly the same checmically engineered taste we had as kids with blueberry pop-tarts. Delicious, yes. But that taste is not found in nature. It’s found in a test tube in a laboratory.

    • MN Bska

      It’s real blueberries and blueberry juice in the belVita. Sorry to burst your bubble.

  • Adam

    I tried these buscuits and my meal included the biscuits, a chobani yogurt-blueberry, a banana nada cup of coffee. I literally within 2.5-3 hours was hypoglycemic needing to eat something else. My whole day was off and felt hungry and like no matter what I ate satisfied me. It was weird. It not onl happened to me by my wife as well. I will not be re- purchasing this product. I would not recommend this product for breakfast. Maybe as a snack during the day.

    • MN Bska

      You ate sugar, grains and protein for breakfast, but no fat. Maybe 25 grams of sugar in the yogurt alone. No wonder you felt off. That’s a whole day worth of sugar in one meal. That belVita should have been the sweetest thing in the meal.

  • YBrea

    I just samples the BelVITA Cinnamon Brown Sugar. It is delicious, but they are TOO SWEET! Why does everything have to be so sweet?! Nabisco should try cutting down on the sugars….They would still be delicious.