If you can’t beat them, change your name

by Carl Natale on September 15, 2010

What do you do when your product becomes the poster child for one of America’s biggest problems?

That’s the question the corn industry faces. Use of high fructose corn syrup is down. People worry that it has too many calories and that it’s a processed food product. So they’re buying less food made with it.

So the corn refiners want to change the name of it.

“High fructose corn syrup” sounds industrial and kind of nasty. Doesn’t “corn sugar” sound friendlier? Healthier, even?

Perhaps unsurprisingly, America’s corn refiners said today that they want the FDA to let them use “corn sugar” as an alternate name for “high fructose corn syrup.”

via Does ‘Corn Sugar’ Sound Healthier Than ‘High Fructose Corn Syrup’? : Planet Money : NPR.

To be honest, this is going to work. When consumers see it on the label, they’re going to think “Phew. Thank goodness there is no high fructose corn syrup. This corn sugar should be healthier.”

So who could blame them?

To be fair, HFCS (yeah I got tired of typing high fructose corn syrup) has a bit of a bum rap. I’m not saying it’s good for you. But there are other sweet things just as bad. It has a problem that has a lot to do with its name.

But it feels a bit dishonest to me. This change depends on consumers not knowing corn sugar is the same as HFCS.

Maybe I should stop calling myself a blogger and go by independent writer.

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