Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Vitaminwater: Candy in Disguise

Britain's Advertising Standards Authority just ruled that Coca Cola's vitaminwater "has too much sugar to be accurately described as nutritious," and that the company broke rules by advertising its products as "delicious and nutritious."  How much sugar does one bottle actually have?


A fan photo on vitaminwater's Facebook page shows that an 8 oz serving in a bottle of Power-C dragonfruit flavored drink contains 13 g sugar.  But the bottle holds 2.5 servings, or almost 33 grams of sugar.  Drinking one bottle is like eating eight mint Life Savers plus an Altoid.


The company's product photos show only the side of the bottle with the list of vitamins, never the sugar content.  Follow their links to the FAQ questions page (if your browser loads it at all), and you'll find this statement, which makes vitaminwater sugar sound downright nutritious: "we formulate vitaminwater with a blend of cane sugar (a pure, high-quality, natural sweetener that comes from the sugar cane plant) and crystalline fructose."  But sugar is sugar, no matter how it's advertised as pure and natural.  And the blurb doesn't say how much sugar there is.


Want to find drinks that really are "delicious and nutritious," as vitaminwater was once advertised to be?  Check labels and play Find Hidden Candy.  You'll learn more from the labels than from any advertisement.


Or have a cool drink of plain water.  Now that's delicious.