‘100% Fruit Juice’ Otter Pops

August 27th, 2019

When Otter Pops claims alongside pictures of cute otter characters on the front of packaging that its frozen treats are “100% Fruit Juice,” the company is rounding up. According to the ingredients list on the opposite side, the pops consist of (emphasis added):

water, apple juice concentrate, sugar, contains 2% or less of the following: natural flavors, citric acid, sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate (preservatives).

From the back of packaging we also learn that the pops contain three grams of added sugar, for 10 grams of total sugars, which rubbed one TINA.org reader the wrong way.

“I bought a box of these from Costco for the summer for my kids,” the reader wrote. “The box says in big letters 100% Fruit Juice, but when you read the actual ingredients sugar is added.”

A closer look at the front of the package reveals, below the “100% Fruit Juice” claim, the phrase “made from apple juice concentrate with other added ingredients.” At least when it comes to labeling regulations for beverages, the FDA allows products to be marketed as “100% Juice” even if they don’t contain 100% juice, so long as the claim is accompanied by qualifying language such as “with other added ingredients.”

So Otter Pops may actually be in the right, but it still feels wrong.

Find more of our coverage on treats whose claims may melt in the summer heat here.

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