Thursday, March 26, 2009

Where Does Swiss Miss Get Off?

I've had to take an extended break from coffee. It's because I'm treating some surprise hand eczema homeopathically and coffee kills those remedies*. I'm sad about the lack of coffee but sometimes I fill the void with instant hot cocoa. Well, it doesn't really fill the void, but it does put a warm beverage in my hands, which is part of the whole thing but that's not really what this is all about.

For the second day in a row I hit the breakroom in search of my coffee-lover's methadone, a packet of the Swiss Miss hot cocoa mix with mini marshmallows. The packaging changed recently. It used to just have the Swiss Miss logo all over it in light blue, but now it looks like this:

Actually, it looked like that after I opened it, but you get the idea. See that tag line there in the middle? "As Much Calcium as a Glass of Milk". Right away I had to call shenanigans on that statement. The product contains, in this order, sugar, corn syrup, modified whey (what?), cocoa, hydrogenated coconut oil, marshmallows, modified corn starch (what's with all the modifying?), gelatin, artificial flavor, nonfat milk and calcium carbonate. Notice the calcium-containing items are dead last.

So I look at the nutritional information and right there on the packet it states that if you mix it with water you get 30% of your RDA of calcium and if you mix it with milk you get 50% of your RDA of calcium. If the hot cocoa mix contains as much calcium as a glass of milk wouldn't you get twice the calcium when you mix it with milk than you would when mixing it with water?

What are the Swiss trying to pull here? I thought they were neutral! I am going to write to the corporate lawyers and request they change the statement to:

As Much Calcium as a Glass of Milk When Mixed With a Glass of Milk

* I think my homeopath just wants me to quit drinking coffee. She is sorely mistaken if she thinks I won't be back on the juice as soon as this little issue is cleared up.


The Plaid Sheep said...

You should definitely write to Swiss Miss, or you could just report them for fraud. Whichever is more satisfying.

I expect you to report back on the homeopathy. I am curious.

Aunt So-So said...

This is funny. This reminds me of Chris' favorite quote from (I think it's) McDonalds: "Our beef is 100% real beef". All that says is that the portion of the patty that is beef is, in fact, real beef. They fail to mention what else is in the rest of the hamburger patty.

FlapScrap said...

There is no explicit claim here. This is the old "verbless implication" trick. See also: "Swiss Army Knife," which implies they have an army.

Proley Pleb said...

Stop drinking such large glasses of milk. The claim on that Swiss Miss package is meant for those who consume much more reasonable helpings of milk, such as a shot glass.

karen said...

I would absolutely write! Maybe they'll send you coupons for enough free product to make up the difference in your daily calcium intake?

I'm also curious about the homeopathic eczema business. Lars has trouble with eczema sometimes and he isn't on to coffee yet...thankfully, I am not so plagued. If I were, we'd be skipping that whole 'no coffee' thing.

LMP said...

@Karen & Sheep - I will post about the eczema and homeopahty, it's been an adventure.

sunglasseshurtmynose said...

Swiss Miss has 10% more calcium than milk.

Aunt So-So said...

Way to take a dump in the punch bowl, Chris.

LMP said...

@Punch-pooper - for the statement to be correct, the quantity when served with "a glass of milk" would be doubled. We have to assume Dave's correct, and they're serving up less milk, because I have long-since trashed the package and am way too busy "working" to trudge upstairs and dig up another, to see if they've specified the definition of A Glass of Milk.