Heinz peddles ‘healthy’ vegie snack with more sugar than Coke

Another day, another dollar, another multinational brand trying to deceive consumers…

First it was the cheese manufacturers trying to peddle wood pulp and cheap filler cheese as if it were luxurious, expensive Parmesan.

Then it was discovered that some brands of natural yoghurt aren’t so much full of healthy, protein-rich yoghurt, but are just plain old regular yoghurt dressed up with unhealthy thickeners to make them appear healthier.


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And now Heinz are in trouble, for marketing a processed fruit product that is 70% sugar to kids aged 12 months of age.

I know these fruit snacks. I’ve seen them and actively avoided them.

The main reason I gave them the swerve was because my kids eat fruit. They’ll have an apple or banana or bowl of strawberries, rather than fruit’s more expensive, processed cousin. I was at the shops the other day and had forgotten to pack snacks, so I bought two bananas from the fruit shop to tide them over until we got home for lunch. They cost 35c – for both of them! You barely get one fruit roll-up for that amount.

But I digress…

The other reason I avoided these snacks was because I had Gestational Diabetes. Therefore, I learnt how to read food labels.

I discovered that 4 grams of sugar on a food label is equivalent to one teaspoon of sugar, and this has forever transformed the way my family and I eat.

The Heinz ‘Fruit and Veg Shredz’ at the centre of this scandal contained an incredible 68.7g of sugar per 100g serving. To put this in perspective: this is more than 17 teaspoons of sugar. A 600ml bottle of coke has less sugar in it!

Now, each tiny snack was only around 18g, but still: each one had the equivalent of three level teaspoons of sugar.

I think about all of those mums and dads giving their little Timmy or Tess two or three of these snacks in one day, thinking they’re giving them a healthy veggie-ful boost, and it makes me mad.

And that’s my biggest issue with this whole thing: parents were mislead.

So I’m glad Heinz are in the sh*t.

We parents are all doing our best to make sure our kids eat well – and deceptive marketing practices like this make it that much harder to do the right thing.

Heinz, it’s time for you to sit in the naughty corner and have a long, hard think about what you’ve done. When you’re ready to say sorry you can come out.

The Meddler

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