Why MINUTE MAID Won’t Admit Its Fruit Punch Contains Artificial Sweetener

Does MINUTE MAID Premium Fruit Punch contain the artificial sweetener sucralose? It seems impossible to know. 

As a member of the Feingold Program (also known as the Feingold Diet) I receive periodic alerts about common food products have changed formulations and have added or removed additives. So, it was just a standard alert email notifying me that MINUTE MAID Premium Fruit Punch in the carton had been reformulated and now contains sucralose, an artificial sweetener processed with chlorine.

Curious, I went onto the Minute Maid for website and looked up the ingredients for MINUTE MAID Premium Fruit Punch in the carton. No mention of Sucralose on the ingredient list.

I sent off a quick email to Cindy Harrell, Feingold’s Product Information Director, asking about it. (MINUTE MAID Premium Fruit Punch is boldly labeled 100% Natural.) Cindy promptly wrote back:

Hey Jennifer,
You must have looked in the wrong place.  Here is the [URL] address.  They do mention it in the carton.

Kind Regards,
Cindy Harrell

Hmm. Two different product pages with two different ingredient lists. An email and tweet to the Coca-Cola Company, the parent of Muniute Maid, went unanswered.

Shula Edelkind, who began and maintains the Feingold.org website followed-up with this thought:

…this is so bizarre.  The [MINUTE MAID Premium Fruit Punch] listed without the sucralose is 64 oz and the one with the same name listed WITH the sucralose is 59 oz carton.  Could there possibly be two different products with the same name?  Or do you think that the “new version” is smaller as well as with sucralose?  Probably at the same price, too, right?  Do you  think that if people can still find the old 64 oz cartons that we could believe what’s on the box?

All good questions and — with no response from Minute Maid or Coca-Cola — it kind of makes you wonder.  Is Minute Maid/Coca-Cola trying to pull a fast one?

2 Comments

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  1. The fact that high fructose corn syrup is the second ingredient, let alone in the list at all makes this product a counterintuitive health choice. Sucralose and the once “natural” flavors are unnecessary in anything that passes as a fruit drink. We should not be paying for a packaged drink that is 95% water, sugar, and additives, and only 5% fruit juice from concentrate with 0 nutritional value. I think the important thing to remember here is that despite the amount of time it takes to read the ingredients, it’s a necessary evil. The bright side is that “healthy” processed foods contain very few ingredients and no additives, so choosing between reading 23 ingredients and 3 ingredients becomes an easy decision.

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