Fruit snacks are the epitome of a healthwashed product. I’m not sure whether it’s the name itself, or just some really good marketing, but these little sugary candies have somehow gotten the reputation of a healthy snack – especially for children. Angry Birds Fruit Gummies are no exception. And to make sure your kids REALLY want them this time of year, they are available in a Halloween themed box.
The packaging is also designed to entice parents, with several health claims. The first three: “Nut Free”, “Gluten Free”, and “Fat Free” are completely useless for a fruit snack. ALL fruit snacks could carry these health claims. In fact, so could jelly beans, gum drops, or gummy bears. It doesn’t make any of these products healthy.
The “Made With Real Fruit Juice” health claim is probably my least favorite of all health claims. Fruit juice, when devoid of the fiber naturally found in fruit, is just sugar. Period. It is especially worthless, when used in small amounts accompanied by other forms of added sugar – which is exactly the case for this product.
The first ingredient for these gummies is sugar. Followed by corn syrup (another form of sugar), and white grape juice concentrate (again, sugar). Without fiber, vitamins are the only significant health quality left in fruit juice. But as you can see, there is so little grape juice used in this product, that it contains 0% Vitamin C per serving. The remaining ingredients are gelatin, and a variety of artificial colors to create the different “flavors”.
Each serving of
fruit gummies candy is nearly 40% sugar by weight, meaning the recommended serving size of 13 pieces contains 15g of sugar. That’s almost 4 teaspoons! If you ate the entire box, which I’m guessing many people would, you would consume TEN teaspoons of sugar.
Oddly enough, the name of the company distributing this product (and marketing it to children) is “Healthy Food Brands”. Their website is HFBcandy.com. Talk about misleading. There is nothing healthy about these gummies.
This Halloween, leave the treats for trick-or-treating.