Have You Heard Of The Jelly Bean Rule?

December 4, 2013   30 Comments

Snack Girl is positive that you are aware of the FDA’s rule on the all important jelly bean.

Vitamin Water Review

If a food is low in fat, cholesterol, and sodium it cannot be labeled as “healthy” unless it has 10% of the daily value of vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, protein, fiber, or iron (and they can’t be added by fortification).

Simply because you add vitamins to a food product, it doesn’t mean that you can call a food “healthy”. Sorry, jelly bean, you can’t be turned into the wonder food that you deserve to be. Can you imagine all the foods that could instantly become healthy with some Vitamin C added? Snickers, Pecan Pie, Doritos….

What about water?

Coca-Coca puts out something called “Vitaminwater” and this is how they define it:

Wowza! This particular water that I purchased is for “energy” which I desperately need with the holidays coming up. My doctor has me taking a vitamin D supplement and I thought that this Vitaminwater may give me a boost.

The back of the bottle explained how I would be getting energy – caffeine (50 mg) and sugar (32g). Yes, that will work!

There was something called “reverse osmosis water” which means purified. Was that supposed to give me energy too? If I am dehydrated, water will give me energy, right?

It probably won’t surprise you to find out that there is a class action lawsuit against Coca-Cola because of Vitaminwater. Seems that consumers think that it is healthy because of the claims on the packaging (a violation of the jelly bean rule).

Coca-Cola claims “no consumer could reasonable be misled into thinking Vitaminwater was a healthy beverage.” (see: Drink Deception and the Legal War on Vitaminwater)

You called it VITAMINwater for crying out loud! If you didn’t want consumers to think it was healthy - call it what it is, “Koolaid with added caffeine” or “colored, sugar, water” or “really expensive crappy tasting sugar water”.

The lawsuit has been going since 2009. I wonder how many bottles have been sold since then.

Have you tried Vitaminwater? Did you think it was healthy?

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First 20 Comments: ( See all 30 )

Wow, i really had no idea abt this "rule". I don't drink vitamin water and I usually always look at the sugar level for drinks I buy, but this was reaaally informative. I have to share b/c a bunch of people buy Vitamin Water BECAUSE they think it is so drastically better than soda.

I love Vitamin Water ZERO. That is the trick. If you get the Vitamin Water Zero, you get the sweet taste with no calories. You should try that instead of the regular.

Vitamin Water is a waste of money. If you want more energy, try it the natural way: more rest, exercise to release endorphins, or try actual foods known to give you energy, like dates. I hate all of these "new age beverages" that make these outrageous claims to give you energy. What's the point when you can do it the natural way for so much less?

No I am not that silly to fall for marketing schemes. So sad but thanks for the education. Another label to watch out for is "all-natural"

I had no idea that VitaminWater was so not what it was supposed to be! Not that I ever drink it. But thanks to you Snack girl I'll stop my kids from getting it. I think that probably our children are coke's target audience for those things and they are much less savy than we. I recently purchased a sodastream and our drinking habits have changed dramatically. Now, if someone wants soda they make a bottle and do we are all drinking a lot less of it. It's great!

Deceptive Marketing. Nothing new to the world of advertising for these miracle products. Although I have to say, I don't ever recall anyone stating that this was a "Healthy" Product, despite of it's name. Anybody who actually reads the label can clearly see that it's nothing more than a glorified soda product.

Several years ago some of the students in my chemistry lab analyzed VitaminWater to quantify the amount of Vitamin E. Their results aren't certifiable, but they were pretty clear: the amount was significantly less than what the label claimed. And you know why? It's a light-sensitive compound (in the lab we had to keep the standard Vitamin E solutions wrapped in foil), so packing this stuff in a clear bottle is kind of stupid, because it causes the Vitamin E to degrade (and probably some of the other nutrients added, though I didn't check them all).

Try Vitamin Water Zero and it does not have all these calories.

Lisa, I applaud the exposure you provide to the food and drink perils we hungry consumers are faced with daily. It's important as we all share one fact and that is that we are all on a continuum of awareness in this category and need to respect that as well as be a part of an awareness campaign too. It is so sad that we must teach our young that they can't trust what they read or hear [as in an ad], that the world is unfriendly and greedy. Kudos to snack girl and others for their continuing awareness-raising! As for water, I take mine straight or with a twist! :)

Of course I thought it was healthy!!!! It says so in the name!!!!! Since I didn't have weight concerns for my daughter, who is a damcer, I bought this for her all the time..... When I looked for a drink during my weight loss journey .... I read the label. .... I was shocked at the misleading name vs actual ingredients. I'm a label reader now on EVERYTHING!!

Vitamin Water Zero has artificial sweeteners which is not any better than sugar in my opinion.

My mom never bought soda growing up bit she would get Gatorade, thinking it was a better option. Thank goodness now we all know better! Gatorade is soda without the bubbles.

I do drink Vitamin Water Zero, but I do so just for a different taste to my water. I have a job where I don't often have time to prep anything, so having a VWZ is a nice treat. I just make myself drink 3 glasses of water first, then I can have it! I hope CocaCola loses the court battle...of course they are misleading people!

VitaminWater even says on its label do not consume more than x number a day. Can't remember the exact amount, been that long since I've looked at a bottle. My husband drank them while at school, I showed him that and he quit instantly. If it is good for you there is no limit.

I have bought the vitamin water zero in a pinch, because I refuse to drink my calories! If I'm going to consume 300 calories with 20 grams of sugar, you can bet it's going to be a donut or piece of cake - NOT a drink! I love crystal light. I save my Snapple bottles, they are the perfect size. I hate the artificial sweeteners but I get so tired of just water!

I had never heard of "jelly bean" either but like the name - easy to remember.

I think it was Dr. Oz who said do not buy juices or waters with more than 10 grams of sugar. Tropicanan Trop50 orange juice has 10 grams and OceanSpray Cranberry Lite has 11 grams and both are 50 calories for 8 ozs. I try to stick to the 10 g. Caffeine is certainly an energy boost and I am not sure it matters where you get it, water drinks or coffee and tea?

michellea - that's my mantra - I don't DRINK my calories - EVER!!! lol - I'm with you, I would MUCH RATHER EAT them. lol

Any time a product says "energy" it's pretty much a given that it's got caffeine in it. I bought One a Day Energy vitamins once and couldn't believe there was caffeine in them. They try to make you think that it's the vitamins or herbs that will give you energy, but it's not. :P

I may not stick to healthy things all the time, but I do like to know what I'm putting in my body and when. So I always read the labels no matter what. I've been staying away from Vitaminwater and another called something like fruit flavored water simply on principle - if the name implies natural, healthy snack or refreshment, then it by-gosh better be! Which means no added sugar, fructose, sweeteners or chemicals of any kind.

Never tried it, but now I'm glad I haven't. Great article Snack Girl.

Great article! Marketers are geniuses when it comes to deception.

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