School Lunch with Veggie Chips

The Scam of Veggie Chips

Nutrition Facts, Fries vs Veggie ChipsOne of the nutrition facts panels on the right is for Sensible Portions Veggie Chips with “sea salt and 30% less fat.” The other is for a small portion of McDonald’s French fries. Which do you think is for the veggie chips?

If you guessed the one on top with 20% more fat, 285% more sodium, an extra gram of sugar, and 18% more calories, then you were right. Stuffing so much sugar, salt, fat, and calories into the veggie chips is especially impressive when you consider that you get 36% more grams of  food with the serving of fries. That’s because the chips are puffed up with air to make them seem lighter.

Welcome to the marketing miracle of healthy eating.

The public health imperative to promote healthy eating serves serves up a never-ending bumper crop of opportunities for skilled food marketers. All 200 pages of the new dietary guidelines are reduced to a few sound bites. “Avoid added sugar.” “Eggs and cholesterol? No problem.” “Coffee? Go for it.”

In turn, those sound bites spawn new products that can hitch a ride with things that consumers think they’re supposed to do. Need to eat more veggies? Veggie chips are just the ticket.

Jump on board. The healthy eating train is leaving the station. Hallelujah!

Click here for a closer look at veggie chips. Click here and here for more perspective on the dark art of marketing healthy food claims.

School Lunch with Veggie Chips, photograph © Melissa / flickr

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April 10, 2016

One Response to “The Scam of Veggie Chips”

  1. April 10, 2016 at 9:21 am, Al Lewis said:

    Thanks for exposing one of the biggest scams in an industry known for its scams. The thing is, you THINK you’re doing yourself a favor by eating these things…so you eat more of them.

    By the way, you should make a semi-exception for kale chips. They could never be confused with a health food, but they aren’t total junk either. About halfway in between.