The makers of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) aim to sweeten up its image with a new name: corn sugar.
The Corn Refiners Association put in a request to change the name after sharp declines in HFCS has stakeholders nervous. The use of HFCS in foods had dropped to a 20 year low. The average American ate 35.7 pounds of high fructose corn syrup last year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That’s down 21 percent from 45.4 pounds 10 years before.
The growing fears of consumers that there is a connection between HFCS and the rise in obesity and diabetes has led many producers of soft drinks, cereals and other products to back away from using it.
The approval of the name change could take up to two years, but the Corn Refiners Association has implemented their campaign early with a new website and television ads that have started running this month.
The ads are based on the premise that there is no difference between HFCS and any other type of sugar. One ad in particular states that “whether it’s corn sugar or cane sugar, your body can’t tell the difference. Sugar is sugar.”
What is most interesting is the fact that they do not deny or even address the fact that HFCS causes obesity and diabetes, but only propose that all other sugars do the same. You would think that this isn’t the best marketing strategy, but the American consumer isn’t the most savvy on deceptive marketing strategies.
According to NPR, renaming products has succeeded before. For example, low eurcic acid rapeseed oil became much more popular after becoming “canola oil” in 1988. Prunes tried to shed a stodgy image by becoming “dried plums” in 2000.
The bottom line is that HFCS is considerably cheaper to manufacture than Cane Sugar which makes it’s use more widespread and harmful! The use of corn products also supports companies such as Monsanto which terrorize independent farmers and intoduce Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO‘s) into our food supply.