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A Bevy of Food Fads In One Small Cup

by Alison Hudson

August 8, 2013

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Donate Grocery shopping can be a fun exercise for the skeptical mind. There's not an aisle of my local big box store anymore where I can't spot some sort of overblown food fad on display: organic cupcake mix, probiotic tea bags, vegan barbeque riblets, even gluten-free shampoo (because, apparently, there's a slight chance you might get some in your mouth and die).

I saw a fitting example of creative fad marketing the other day. I happened to be in the dairy aisle when I spotted Storyfield Farms Super Fruits Organic Nonfat Greek Yogurt. That's an impressive number of food fads to pack into one 5.3oz cup! Let's run the list.

Greek Yogurt -- If there was going to be yogurt involved, of course it would have to be Greek.I'm actually a fan of Greek yogurt on account of its texture, tart taste, and elevated protein. But it's still a food fad with plenty of websites overstating its healthful benefits and plenty of manufacturers banking on the trend. The Greek yogurt section of my local supermarket is bigger now than the American style yogurt section!

Organic -- Of course. Organic is almost ubiquitous nowadays for any health food product. This particular product even prominently sports the USDA Organic label.

Nonfat -- The low fat/nonfat diet trend is a poor one, yet the nonfat label just doesn't go away. It's got too much marketing power.

Super Fruits -- This was the kicker for me, the one that truly put the product over the top. The "super fruit" fad is one of the lamer ones, based as it is on the even older but equally overblown antioxidant fad. Storyfield gives you a trio of such fruits: raspberries, pomegranate, and the miraculous acai berry.

I'm not saying that this particular product is any worse in its fad-mongering than other products out there; I was just impressed by the effort they put into stacking them all on one label. So of courseI couldn't resist trying the stuff.

The verdict? a little too bitter for my tastes. Those are not three fruits that scream "sweetness," especially in the tart Greek yogurt. And I certainly didn't feel powered by these "super fruits" any more than I do by my usual yogurt favorites, Black Cherry and Key Lime Pie.

To Storyfield's credit, this is "real" Greek yogurt and not just thickened "Greek style" yogurt, and the yogurt part itself was fine.I won't be adding super fruit yogurt to my regular shopping list anytime soon, though if Stonyfield is on sale and if I have a coupon, I'll buy the brand again ... but I'll probably choose Strawberry next time.

by Alison Hudson

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