This Food Fake Is Shocking

June 19, 2012   54 Comments

Snapple is the reason that Snack Girl got into the blogging business. Three years ago, I found myself reading a label on one of their drinks and I felt misled by their marketing.

Snapple Sorbet Fake

Yesterday, as I was cruising through the supermarket, I noticed Snapple's Sorbet Bars in a bin, and thought, "How can you put fresh fruit into a tube and not freeze it?".

Sorbet is a frozen dessert made from sweetened water flavored with fruit. I happen to love it as a lower calorie alternative to ice cream - see: A Healthy Snack Friend In The Ice Cream Aisle.

There are wonderful "sorbet bars" in the frozen section of the store that are made with fruit, but THESE seemed suspicious. The front of the box claimed, "Made from the best stuff on Earth".

Here are the ingredients:

Best stuff on Earth? I can't disagree with water, but sugar? Ummmm, I thought you meant mango, or strawberries not SUGAR. Argh.

Snapple won a case that was brought against them about labeling their juices as "All Natural" when they included high fructose corn syrup. I can't understand how they could label something "sorbet" that doesn't have any actual fruit.

There is a photograph on the box of fruit and the words "mango", and "strawberry" grace the front of the box - but THERE IS ZERO mango or strawberry in the bars.

You see, Snapple tricked me once with their marketing and I got SO angry that I started to think about how to inform others about scams like this. The front of the juice that my daughter wanted was filled with a photo of fruit. After I bought it, I reviewed the label (because I was bored) and found that the second ingredient was high fructose corn syrup.

I shoulda just bought my kid that can of Coke that she REALLY wanted. I thought I was buying juice (and we can argue another time on whether this was a good choice) and I ended up buying sugar water.

My point is that you cannot trust Snapple. These guys are out to trick us into thinking we are buying something healthy - and giving us cheap ingredients instead of the real stuff.

I feel bad for flaming Edy's Fruit Bars for including fruit as the third ingredient after water and sugar. Hey, maybe they deserve an award for actually putting fruit in their popsicles!

So, maybe I should be grateful to Snapple for making me so angry that I write about healthy eating every day. They tricked me and I decided to do SOMETHING about it - other than not buy Snapple.

What do you think of Snapple's marketing and beverages?

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Wow! That's unbelievable. Thanks for sharing and for taking the time to read labels. I don't do it enough. And BOOO to Snapple.

It's not entirely shocking to me, seems like par for the course these days. Unethical, yes, entirely! I'm wondering why they even need preservatives for water, sugar & flavoring!?

That is why it is so important for people to read labels - whats on the front pic is not always what's in the ingredient list. I agree that is extremely misleading. Thanks for sharing this.

Very frustrating isn't? Just like Nutella except they were sued and they lost -advertising that Nutella is healthy, great breakfast(very sugary). The governments need to step up and enforce that false advertisement will not be tolerated. All the companies now mislead the consumers.

It amazes me that they can make the claim "Naturally Flavored" on the front of the box and then back that by saying "less than 2% of the following: Natural Flavor, blah, blah, blah. Um...what exactly is "natural flavor?" -- do you buy that in a test tube?

I guess if your goal is to sell more stuff, you do whatever you can to get people to buy it, even if it means tricking them with names and pictures. Horrible, but not surprising. Thanks for pointing this out, Lisa.

For what it's worth, "maltodextrin" caught my eye.

I don't know how reputable this site is (most of the "oh, it's horrible" sites seem to cite only a handful of sources), but one of the reasons I stay away from "foods" like this is because it seems like the use of maltodextrin (and any of another few dozen additives) permits manufacturers of same to insert free glutamates into their foods.

If you Google "MSG induced mice", you'll see that a standard protocol for creating obese mice for scientific studies is to include MSG in their diets.

Me, I know that my "addiction switch" has often gotten flipped when I've eaten food that contains some of the additives on the "Hidden Sources" list above, so I find it best to stay away from them and eat only real, whole foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole-grains. This is a good reminder to stick with my program! :)

@Michelle- is a really good video about creating flavors that keep us coming back for more. (IIRC, it's the second segment in the episode.)

I think it is unfortunate that they can't seem to get their advertising straight. That's a problem. It is also unfortunate for those who struggle with eating healthy, in part because they don't read about what they are eating. You take the time, I take the time - but other folks don't and this kind of food undoes any good eating they do. It's really sad.

One word.....dumb, is what I think of how most companies label their sub-par products as something spectacular. I have a habit of reading anything with a label before buying now. Great post, I hope it sheds some light for many consumers!

You go snack girl!

It reminds me of those that package bread as "Wheat bread" when it is not whole wheat as you might assumed. It is merely white bread with caramel coloring. Deceitful!

The bottom line here is....don't buy Snapple products, any of them. They are deceitful in their advertising, make a sub-standard and unhealthy product and don't deserve to be rewarded with our dollars. Money talks....always!

I hope there comes a day when we can actually buy items based on the front of the box and trust that it is what they say it is without having to read labels. It's just a shame that we constantly have to do our own research and weed through all the bad stuff. It seems like until that day comes (and if it ever comes) we just have to try to stick with making our own juices, snacks, etc...At least then we know what we're eating.

This is just one of the many reasons I am starting a new plan to eliminate most processed foods from my diet. I know that sounds like a tall undertaking but I am convinced the food mfgrs have only their profits at heart and I need to drop an extra 15 lbs anyway that I am sure will fall off easily if I just stop purchasing even things like crackers. Did our ancestors eat crackers and boxed breakfast cereals? Their cookies are best described as little sugar bombs. I am sick of being addicted to their greed I just hope I can do it even if I have to eat things like butternut squash as a dessert.

Let's not just get mad, let's get even. We can make a stink on Twitter, Facebook and OUT these clowns. How dare they! I just posted on their FB page my complaint and here's my Twitter: @Snapple, your "fruity" Sorbet bars have no FRUIT? a pic of fruit and the words "mango", and "strawberry" but NO FRUIT? Not cool dudes

I just tweeted something like that - try

@Snapple - Sorbet bars with NO FRUIT? Shame on you.

or you if you want to promote the source :)

@Snapple -Sorbet bars with NO FRUIT? Shame on you says @Snack_Girl_

It's amazing what companies call healthy! I honestly don't buy processed foods anymore, well most processed foods. I carefull read the label and if I see sugar in the first 3 ingredients, I don't buy it! I don't know how Snapple can call this healthy! What the heck are the other ingredients? Great post!

I stopped buying Snapple and all the sugary drinks so long back. Now that my preteen is at an age where he can decide what he likes, I have started getting him V8.

I love the tweet idea. I'm in!

I read labels and generally don't buy processed food but I know a lot of people who love Snapple. Their trickery makes me angry and I will post this on my FB page. I'd much rather blend together watermelon and strawberries to make my own popsicles. It's easy, generally cheap and way healthier!


Check out the "sweetener" used in many foods including weight watchers products-propylene glycol. it's the main ingredient in the water flavorings like Mio. Last time I checked it's a kin to Anti Freeze. Read labels. It's important now more than ever. Thanks for the alert.

I don't care for Snapple anyway... even their tea has too much sugar (and I like my tea SWEET, so that's saying a lot), and I really don't like citric acid added to my juice or tea. Instead of putting lemon juice (or even lemon juice concentrate) in their "lemon" tea, it's natural flavor (which can contain MSG) and citric acid. That's just unnecessary.

But it doesn't surprise me that they're doing the sugar water trick with their popsicles. Most companies do.

Great info Snack Girl! This is why labeling laws are so important for consumers, and damaging to greedy corporations. Wikipedia has interesting backgr on rise and fall of Snapple, now owned by DrPepperSnapple, and a long list of other products to avoid. I will post on FB too!

I get the Sprout's Strawberry Fruit Bars. The first ingredient is....strawberries! Imagine that. They are pretty good (yes, they do include sugar) but at 100 calories each they make a nice summer snack.

Anymore, the term sales and/or marketing is synonymous with lying, cheating unethical behavior (as long as you get more people to buy your product). It's unfortunate that our business culture has gone this direction. And even more unfortunate that these businesses can get away with such behavior.

This makes me angry. This is why I only send water for my kids to drink at school. I wish companies would make "real" foods and drinks for us to buy. Without jacking up the prices.

The ingredients are not surprising, but another "fail" for the FDA not regulating the definitions of what should be food. Snapple is out to make a profit, not provide a healthy snack. I had some fresh blueberries that were getting old; I smashed them up into unsweetened applesauce with a fork (too lazy to clean the blender) and poured them in ice-pop molds. Not bad at all! A little yogurt or something creamy probably would have made them even better. If you can find a flat surface in your freezer, just get inventive!

But @SnackGirl, it's "made with real sugar"!! How can it be bad? No high fructose corn syrup!! Ha-ha, just kidding. I assume they think that 'real sugar' makes it okay because it's not the HFCS. They are trying to latch on to America's disdain of HFCS to sell their product. When you really start to read the labels on processed foods, you see just how much crap is in the food we buy. It's a shame. It's too bad that companies are more concerned with their bottom line than in selling a quality product.

I'm actually really shocked...I mean, I knew Snapple wasn't necessarily a healthy choice, but I didn't think it was straight sugar water. Terrible!


So easy to make this stuff with just juice and fruits at home.

Healthy is such an over used word these days.


Their green colored package is intended to imply health too, isn't it? It's all about the marketing. Someone was paid good money to deceive the public.

Whenever I see 'Natural Flavors' I think of this stuff: and all desire to eat that food is immediately gone.

really unfortunate

@BCombs- I'd heard about such an ingredient, but nothing concrete, so thank you for the link!

I liked this:

"In the United States, castoreum has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a food additive,[12] often referenced simply as a "natural flavoring" in the product's list of ingredients. While it can be used in both foods and beverages as a vanilla, raspberry and strawberry flavoring,[13] the annual industry consumption is only around 300 pounds.[14]"

Oh, only 300 pounds? Well, then serve me up a heaping bowl...

Ugggggghhhhh... :P

All in all, I really llike some Snapple products, like their Mint Tea and their Half & Half (aka Arnold Palmer). I usually don't give a damn about labels and ingredients, but this is just outright lying.

Also reminds me of the supposed "spring water" sold in all stores. 99% of them are some other area's tap water. The company MAY filter it once or twice, OR NOT.

Shared this on Facebook because I know some health conscious people who may not be aware of the deception.

That is awful. They shouldn't be allowed to PHOTOGRAPH and market "fruit" bars when there's zero fruit in them!! Awful awful awful!! Now I'm perturbed!!!!!!!!!!

Made from the best stuff on earth huh? No thanks I'll pass on the sugar & chemicals. Thank you Lisa AKA snack girl...I really enjoy your posts!

The sugar isn't what bothers me half as much as the "natural flavors" there is nothing saying that these need to be food, they just have to come from a natural base (and then are processed to no longer resemble what they originally were, probably adding sugar). We will never have truthful labels, sorry marketing can get around any restriction, and all the new things we ask for (whole wheat, or organic) will be abused by marketing professionals whose job it is to make you believe their product is better than anything else on the market. I have started making my kids a home made yoohoo after looking at how much sugar was in the fruit drinks they had (and noting how little fruit) they don't drink but a glass or 2 a day, and drink water the rest of the day except meals where milk is the norm, and they are happy, and healthy.

So, how exactly is this different from the colored tube pops that cost like a nickel apiece? I mean, other than the fact they cost substantially more/

Geez, thanks for pointing this out. I find it difficult to understand a lot of ingredients because I do not know what the double-speak is really saying. I am searching for a site or reference that I can take with me to the grocery store and (via smartphone) figure out quickly if products are worth having. Seems that the imitation food outnumbers the food in a lot of grocery stores. Thanks again for posting, I am adding Snapple products to my 'do not buy' list.

Marc, Try Fooducate. They have a great app.

Bob, I miss their mint iced tea, which they discontinued in 1996.

While better than nothing, this is mostly a placebo. Try instead to know what you are going to get before you leave the house. Soon enough you won't need fooducate to tell you what to do, you'll already know.

I enjoyed the many comments today esp knowing how so many are as irked as I am for the state our food is in! You've really struck a chord today. The approach I take is pretty much this: buy whole organic food whenever possible, followed by minimally processed, research good brands like Eden, OrganicValley, etc., find healthy substitutes by listening to SnackGirl and keep current with daily research! There's still plenty of good food available.

I like the 'research' plan. The brand name is irrelevant. Credit where due: I got this from Snack-girl on another post:

Oddly enough, I've found that the foods you have to watch the closest are the one's that claim some kind of health benefit-low fat, omega-3, organic, NATURAL FLAVOR (see Castoreum), and the ubiquitous '100% blah, blah, blah' and 'Whole whatever'.

hey BCombs, thanks for that org chart, I remember seeing that and printing it for all to see! I simply don't trust any big corp.names anymore but so many just give up because it means lots of work. SnackGirl is getting close to the ''Occupy'' movement with this post! ''Wildly Organic Woman'' on FB posted a huge list yesterday of companies who use Monsanto products which led to Hopefully this guide will make it easier to find healthy food!

And again we see how names dominate the market. Have you ever been to the nearby farmers market and asked what seed they used to grow the food? You probably didn't even ask if they grew it themselves. Getting tired of seeing politics get in the way of common sense. That lump over your shoulders isn't there to help you steer into the wind; start using it.

Amen! I found a box of Snapple frozen treats when i was in my Walgreens looking for popsicles. First off, they're TINY! Second, They taste AWFUL and yes the worst part is they are not in fact frozen water and sugar and fruit they are water sugar and maltodextrin. Oddly I had the same reaction when I drank an Arizona Green tea in a can. yuck! it tasted nothing like the tea I remembered ten years ago that I craved daily.

A shame that this type of false advertising is allowed in America. But what's worse is that so many companies feel okay feeding us this crap.

The need to show people a better way of eating is why I got into blogging, too. Thanks, Snack-Girl, for standing up!

Time for us to start reading lables. Snapple is off my grocery list from here on out! Yuk...

Sheesh! Grow up people. It says naturally flavored, not made with real fruit. What did you expect for the price? I love them because they are the only ice pop I have found that does NOT have high fructose corn syrup which I am allergic to. Now I can't find them. Did some idiot sue them because they can't read a label?

Well, I've tried the Snapple Sorbet bars and they're delicious! Ten times better than a typical frozen popsicle. As a popsicle, there's nothing to complain about - but I understand not being happy if expecting smushie fruit.

They're actually made by a company called Jel Sert who seems to make half the frozen koolaid sticks on the market.

Hard to find the Sorbert in local stores without ordering only. Will check later.

Who cares they taste really good especially the Snapple Apple flavor.

I have a question...what would cause 3 of these sorbet bars, not to freeze? I'm a little concerned about this since they have been in the freezer 36 hours already.p

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