October 1, 2010

Ben and Jerry's "All Natural" not so natural - A loyal consumers POV

How would you feel when you recently hear that one of the companies you love - because you thought they have great "all natural" ingredients - suddenly drops the ball and admit that they don't have "all natural" ingredients in some of their products as formerly claimed?
Ben and Jerry's inside my freezer

Ben and Jerry's recently made news when they announced they were dropping the "all natural" phrase off of some of their ice cream and yogurt labels. We love Ben and Jerry's because of this "all natural"claim on their ice cream products along with their enticing catchphrase "Peace, Love and Ice cream". It's the only ice cream that makes a regular appearance on our grocery list. Now with the recent revelation, it just made me look at their ice cream on a different light. As a regular consumer, I'm disappointed and felt betrayed to say the least.
  • How many more companies ride in this "all natural" bandwagon to mislead consumers? 
  • To what purpose are they motivated to exploit this? 
  • Profit gain? 
This just shows how hard it is to find a company that you can really trust and who sticks to its' true claim without being contaminated by it's desire to gain profit. I could be wrong. But this just tells me to be doubly conscious in reading the ingredients before I grab that next Ben & Jerry's ice cream or any product that me and my family love and trusts! Call that the result of a breach of trust. A disservice to loyal consumers of their brands.
“Ben and Jerry’s is doing the right thing by taking the phrase ‘all natural’ off its labels if the products have factory-made ingredients,” said CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson.
But how many more guilty companies would do the same? If FDA {Food and Drug Administration} does not put a lock-down on the rampant misuse of the "all natural" claim and does not establish a clear definition of the word "natural" in their guidelines, then this just clearly means that we'll continue to be victims of this sordid claims!

UPDATE: { 9/29/10} Ben and Jerry's via Twitter were inviting users to join them at a "town hall meeting" regarding their label change with hashtag #natural . Underlying reason was not identified. Trying to clean their name? I can only speculate.

Related stories:
Yahoo News: Ben and Jerry's To Drop "All Natural" From Labels
NPR: Ben and Jerry's Takes "All Natural" Claims Off Of Labels
Yahoo News: FTC says POM Juice ads are deceptive about health claim
"Natural" will remain undefined


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