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Advertising Gone Nuts!

A visit to my local CVS led to quite an interesting discovery — Planters’ new “NUTritious” line of products, advertised as “a distinctive line of snacking options that focus on specific wellness needs, all built with a better you in mind.”

How sweet. Let’s look beyond the sensitive copy, though.

Planters has always sold a variety of nuts — good sources of fiber, heart-healthy fats, and nutrients like vitamin E, selenium, and magnesium.

So, nothing is broken and in need of getting fixed.

I was very curious to see how exactly this new line would improve over products as “non junky” as peanuts or cashews.

Let’s begin.

First up — the Heart Healthy Mix, which “may reduce the risk of heart disease.”

Already my “BS” meter went off. Not only can that statement be applied to any nut product, it’s also the kind of claim that is rally too vague to be of any use.

Sure, nuts may reduce the risk of heart disease assuming that they are part of a diet low in saturated and trans fats and rich in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. And that you don’t smoke. And that you’re not 50 pounds overweight. I could go on…

What is so special about this product I do not know. It is simply a medley of nuts (almonds, peanuts, pecans, walnuts, etc.) just as heart-healthy as the generic CVS brand.

Next we have the South Beach Diet Recommended Mix, consisting of cashews, almonds, and macadamia nuts.

What makes these three nuts more South Beach Diet “friendly” than, say, hazelnuts and walnuts? Beats me.

The third product in the NUTrition line is the Energy Mix — “a natural source of energy.” So is Planters claiming that the other products don’t provide energy?

This one includes a medley of nuts along with chocolate covered soynuts and honey roasted sesame sticks.

Seeing as how all calories are a source of “natural energy” (you could make the case that a 1,200 calorie triple milkshake is “a natural source of energy,”) I have absolutely no clue what the point of this product is.

The Digestive Health Mix (I hope you are rolling your eyes along with me by this point) “keeps everything moving” by combining “pistachios, almonds, tart cranberries, crunchy granola clusters, and sweet cherries.”

Fair enough — but the fiber in any of the other mixes (or any serving of nuts, for that matter, no matter what the brand) also keeps things moving.

What is completely absurd is the presence of high fructose corn syrup. How does that fall into Planters’ creating this with a better “me” in mind?

I suppose companies will always be looking for the next great way to boost sales, but whoever thought up this new Planters line is, quite frankly, a nut!



  1. jessicawatts said on August 22nd, 2008

    I recently saw these products advertised in a magazine and thought the same thing. Good post, as always!

  2. Ivonne Berkowitz said on August 23rd, 2008

    Andy – my sentiments exactly, right down to the BS meter! I was at Safeway when I saw these products and I think I actually said, “BULLS**T!” out loud.

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