This past week, I had a heated discussion with my friends about fruit roll ups, gushers, fruit by the foot, and all of those yummy snacks we had as kids. One of my friends read somewhere that these snacks actually had some nutritional value. General Mills claimed that these tasty treats had good amounts of daily fiber, vitamin C, and other things that would catch parents attention. I was a little skeptical, so I did some research. As I was snooping through the internet to find some clues, I came across an article, http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising-branding/fruit-suit-general-mills-faces-deceptive-advertising-lawsuit-fruit-snacks-?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+Brandweek-All-News+(Brandweek+News+-+All) by Katy Bachman. It turns out that these facts were false, and General Mills is facing a Deceptive Advertising lawsuit. There goes my dreams of eating gushers for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Its a frightening thought that big food cooperations feel the need to deceive their consumers in order to sell a product,”‘General Mills is giving consumers the false impression that these products are somehow more wholesome, and charging more. It’s an elaborate hoax on parents who are trying to do right by their kids,’ says Steve Gardner…General Mills is basically dressing up a very cheap candy as if it were a fruit and charging a premium for it”(Bachman). Food companies are advertising their product with a lot of flash to show how “healthy” their product is, when a piece of fruit or a vegetable is much healthier.
This is not the only false advertising scandal General Mills has had. In 2009, they were forced to stop the misleading advertisements about Cheerios. They had false cholesterol claims, and even stated that this yummy cereal prevented cancer.
While researching about this topic, it reminded me of one of the readings we were assigned in class. Unhappy Meals by Michael Pollan talks a lot about how this nation is going from eating food, to eating nutrients. General Mills felt the need to advertise all of the good stuff in their delicious goop in order to sell it. Parents would see the benefits, and they would feel like they were providing their kids with something healthy. Kids would actually eat the fruit roll up instead of an apple or banana (which has all of General Mills claimed nutrients times a million).