Posts tagged “sugar”

Curating Consumption: Scenes from the frontlines

I’ve been collecting evidence of my own experiences as a consumer and offer some here as evidence of missed opportunities to transform messy interactions into meaningful moments.


Hasboro is now using SmartLink Technology to make electronic versions of Scrabble, and a few other traditionally analog board games like Upwords and Boggle. I initially thought this was a clever leap until I realized that the whole game is now limited to 5-letter words. So much for smart technology. This game makes us even dumber. And now back to Words with Friends.


On the left is a tea bag from Traditional Medicinals. On the right is a tea bag from Yogi Tea. Herein lies a gem of an opportunity for a company to surprise and delight me; to nourish my mind and soul as well as my body. I collect those little mantras on the right. They feel like fortune cookies for my kharma. I share them with friends on Twitter and Facebook. Or, you know, you could always use that tiny space to try and get me to visit your website. If anything, get me to visit the website for the tea on the right!


The menu at Chipotle is now designed to help you count calories as you customize your order. Admittedly, math gives me a headache, so maybe it’s just me. I seriously challenge anyone to create an order and utilize this chart to figure out how many calories it actually has. Ironically, Chipotle introduces the nutritional information on its website with this statement: When you’re trying to eat right, sometimes it feels like you need an advanced math degree to keep up with all the numbers. Indeed! This synthetic effort to facilitate calorie counting makes me like Chipotle as little as I like the idea of calorie counting. Add this to their recent ambush attack on my emotions at the movie theater and now I am scrambling to find recipes for vegetarian tacos that my son will eat.


Way to go global, H&M. Apparently the company must put FIVE tags on a sweater to provide consumers with washing instructions in every language on the planet. This is beyond backwards. Jackie Chan and Michael Jordan were pimping tagless at the Super Bowl 8 years ago! Catch up!


Thanks to a Facebook friend (in Germany!) I came across this image of a possible alternative. It’s down to a single tag, one fairly common language, and some icons. Alternatively, H&M, you may wish to consider a combination of icons and “lav en varma akvo” (Esperanto for “Wash in hot water”). Printed on the garment, of course.


I came across this sign during a recent hike through the Redwood trees in Muir Woods. Two enthusiastic (and quiet) thumbs up to these instructions for how to consume nature. I hear you.

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • Industry-Backed Label Calls Sugary Cereal a ‘Smart Choice’ – The program was influenced by research into consumer behavior. That research showed that, while shoppers wanted more information, they did not want to hear negative messages or feel their choices were being dictated to them.

    “The checkmark means the food item is a ‘better for you’ product, as opposed to having an x on it saying ‘Don’t eat this,’ ” Dr. Kennedy said. “Consumers are smart enough to deduce that if it doesn’t have the checkmark, by implication it’s not a ‘better for you’ product. They want to have a choice. They don’t want to be told ‘You must do this.’ ”

No Sugar Tonight – No Difference

Snipped from original story

Experts who reviewed the lower-sugar versions of six major brands of sweetened cereals at the request of The Associated Press found they have no significant nutritional advantages over their full-sugar counterparts.

Nutrition scientists at five universities found that while the new cereals do have less sugar, the calories, carbohydrates, fat, fiber and other nutrients are almost identical to the full-sugar cereals. That’s because the cereal makers have replaced sugar with refined carbohydrates to preserve the crunch.

Officials at General Mills, Kellogg’s and Post were unable to explain why the new cereals are a better choice, but noted they give consumers more options about how much sugar they eat.

Company officials said they were responding to parents’ demands for products with less sugar and that they aren’t claiming these cereals are any healthier than the originals.

That may not be obvious to consumers.

On some boxes, the lower-sugar claim is printed nearly as large as the product’s name, and only by carefully comparing the nutrition labels of both versions of a cereal would a shopper know there is little difference between them.

“You’re supposed to think it’s healthy,” said Marion Nestle, a nutrition professor at New York University and author of a book critical of the food industry’s influence on public health. “This is about marketing. It is about nothing else. It is not about kids’ health.”

Only one cereal, General Mills’ Cinnamon Toast Crunch, saw a true calorie reduction, dropping from 130 calories to 120 per three-fourths cup serving.

The reduced-sugar versions of Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes and Froot Loops; General Mills’ Cocoa Puffs and Trix; and Post’s Fruity Pebbles all have the same number of calories per serving.

Blame the calorie woes on crunch. To preserve cereals’ taste and texture, sugar is replaced with other carbs that have the same calories as sugar and are no better for you.


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