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Are Consumers Really Drinking the Kool-Aid?

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Are Consumers Really Drinking the Kool-Aid?

The Food and Drug Administration is increasingly focusing on regulating food product labels such as "gluten-free" and "organic." However, it may be time the agency turned its attention to beverages.

In recent weeks, a wave of not-so-positive news about beverage manufacturers' relative truth in labeling has hit the presses. In an article on the website The Daily Meal, Maryse Chevriere recounts how 100 percent orange juice may not be the entire story, as during processing, many of the juice's natural flavors can be lost only to be replaced by so-called "flavor packs."

Furthermore, the beverage packaging of coconut water may not actually include the advertised amount of sodium, which is part of its appeal as an energy drink, Chevriere writes.

"Beverage labels, and labels in general, are a product's face to the world — that they're used as a canvas to improve the image of their product and make it more appealing to consumers is easy to understand," Chevriere explains.

Energy drinks, especially, have come under increased pressure from government entities to improve the accuracy of their labels. Health Canada, for example, is struggling over how to regulate energy drinks and their claims for boosting energy through high levels of caffeine.