Overview: NAD OKs some claims but recommends that Ole discontinue other claims relating to carbohydrate counts on its low-carbohydrate tortillas.
Ole Mexican Foods, Inc, and Gruma Corporation are manufacturers of low- or no-carb tortillas. Diets low in carbohydrates have been in and out of fashion for over a century and continue to grow in popularity, with products estimated to grow to a 10.93 billion dollar industry in 2029. Many consumers on low-carbohydrate diets such as The Zone, the Atkins Diet, or simply lower-carb lifestyles that are recommended for people who suffer from insulin-related illness, would still like to enjoy a tortilla.
With steep competition, manufacturers lean on claims and labels to win competition. Where low-carb marketing is concerned, less is definitely more. Gruma Corporation issued a challenge to package claims on Ole brand La Banderita and Ole’s Xtreme Wellness tortillas, about how the packages displayed net carbohydrate counts. (The net number of carbohydrates in a product is the number of carbohydrates minus sugar alcohols and fiber, which do not affect blood sugar.)
The FDA allows for a variance of up to 20% on the total carbohydrate amounts declared on a label. Because of this, the NAD found that Ole had offered a reasonable basis for its net carbohydrate declarations and carb-effective calculations. However, it found that Ole’s use of the 0 net carb calculation, or “keto net zero” calculation, and the term “Carb Lean” in its marketing, should be amended. Without an explanation as to how these carbohydrates are calculated, the NAD said, consumers are left to take the claims at face value, and that represents an unfair advantage to competitors.
Consumer Surveys, Claim Substantiation, and Food Labels
Whether you’re chasing a diet trend that suggests less is more, or marketing the best product for weight loss against competitors, your claims must be able to withstand regulatory challenges. In a competitive market whose value is estimated at over $10 billion, how claims are crafted can have a big impact on your bottom line. Claim substantiation should be a critical step in your go-to-marketing plan, because putting the research in place before the first ad is published can save your business hundreds of thousands of dollars.
MMR Strategy Group conducts consumer surveys that substantiate advertising and marketing claims. If you are looking to make broad or narrow claims to try to capture a larger market share, reach out to MMR Strategy Group today.