Defiant Kellogg’s stares down CHOICE Shonkys name and shame
A FOOD industry player and the “demon” sugar have been included in CHOICE magazine’s hall of shame, being named a “winner” in the consumer watchdog’s annual Shonky awards.
But Kellog’s, whose “To Go” product won the “honour”, is defiant.
“We know parents and teens love Nutri-Grain ‘To Go’ based on them trying the food before we launched,” Kellog’s spokesperson Alicia Doherty says.
“This is a great food – almost half of the sugar comes from the banana puree, honey and oats, with the rest – around one-and-a-half teaspoons – coming from cane sugar.”
The awards are known for naming and shaming the “shonkiest products and companies taking advantage of Australian consumers”.
CHOICE says the original “ironman food” had discovered a new way to serve up sugar for breakfast, thanks to its latest “To Go” range.
The Nutri-Grain Banana & Honey Smash Protein Squeezer has 14.7g – or 3.5 teaspoons – of total sugar per packet.
CHOICE says promising “a delicious thick and creamy breakfast blend of oatmeal, banana and honey”, accompanied by images of adventurous and fit-looking young adults heading out to “crush it”, Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain wants to tempt kids with an offer that’s not so sweet from a health perspective.
CHOICE says: “The Kellogg’s marketing spruiks the 5.6g per pouch of ‘protein to help you feel fuller’, but there’s no shortage of protein in the average Australian diet (including kids’), and there are other products that are far better sources of protein without the sugar.
Greek yoghurt has more protein
“Greek yoghurt contains more protein, at around 6g per 100g, with half the sugar (none of it added), and has the added bonus of containing calcium.
“Banana & Honey Smash also contains an intense sweetener, making it taste even sweeter, and while lots of snacks and sweets are high in sugar, most of them don’t masquerade as ‘ironman food’.”
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CHOICE wants companies such as Kellogg’s to be transparent about how much of their sugar is added and how much is intrinsic to the ingredients.
“If we know whether sugar is added, it’s much easier to make healthier choices in the shopping aisle,” CHOICE says.
The health outcomes of too much added sugar can include weight gain, high blood pressure, blood lipids, type 2 diabetes and dental problems.
Choice says the Nutri-Grain marketing machine has clearly taken pains over the years to connect its products with elite athletes including ironmen and ironwomen, along with general concepts of fitness, health and vigorous activity.
“While some consumers may see through the spin, we think it’s time to say enough is enough – it’s Shonky marketing, it’s a Shonky breakfast and it’s leading to Shonky health outcomes,” says CHOICE.
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