The Sugar Association has prepared a study for the FDA that concludes changing the name of ‘high-fructose corn syrup’ to ‘corn sugar‘ would confuse consumers. Half of the consumers who participated in the survey did not recognize that ‘corn sugar’ may contain high-fructose corn syrup, and therefore would be unable to avoid it if they were trying to do so.
Background on Corn Sugar
High-fructose corn syrup has been under scrutiny, with claims that it may increase the risk of obesity compared to other sweeteners. Because of this and other claims, the sales of high-fructose corn syrup have fallen
The Corn Refiners’ Association spent millions of dollars on a promotions campaign for ‘corn sugar’ to relabel it as a ‘new’ sweetener.
Study specifics and conclusions
610 people were surveyed in high-traffic shopping malls. 51 percent were female, and 49 percent were male, and their age distribution has near to that of the U.S. population.
Dr. Joel Cohen, who ran the study said:
“This study strongly indicates that, if the ingredient heretofore identified as ‘high-fructose corn syrup’ were instead identified as ‘corn sugar,’ a meaningful percentage of food shoppers are likely to be misled into believing that the latter ingredient is something other than high-fructose corn syrup, which many seek to avoid.”
However, if people are actually trying to avoid the ingredient, whatever it is called, won’t they continue to avoid it once they work out that it’s called ‘corn sugar’?
Source: Levick Strategic Communications
Photo: Creative Commons photo by Hannah Donovan