SUBSCRIBE

Breaking News on Food & Beverage Development - North AmericaEU edition | Asian edition

Trends > HFCS

DISPATCHES FROM INTERBEV 2012, LAS VEGAS

Big beverage players were ‘stuck behind the 8 ball’ on HFCS – Consultant

By Ben Bouckley , 22-Oct-2012
Last updated on 22-Oct-2012 at 16:29 GMT2012-10-22T16:29:18Z

Picture Copyright: SmSm/Flickr
Picture Copyright: SmSm/Flickr
Loading...

Martin Concannon, founder and MD of Kentucky-based consultancy, Lafayette Associates, tells BeverageDaily.com how the media firestorm that followed High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) in recent years was in part whipped-up by social media following a 2004 commentary published in the AJCN.

Concannon discussed issues stemming from an address at InterBev given by KDPaine & Partners, which (in research supported by the Corn Refiners Association/CRA) analyzed 272,360 social media posts on high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) from Q1 2012.

“What is those hundreds of comments and ReTweets weren’t, in fact, from real people. Or if they are real, their motivations are not what you think they are?” Katie Delahaye Paine and Heather Fysh said.

Paine and Fysh found that (1) a small number of ‘users’ (mainly robots, pay-per-click sites, content farms) created a disproportionate amount of content – more than a third of posts are created by 10% of posters, while (2) ‘one-shot posters’ unengaged with content created the majority of posts.

Social media heat, but not light…

As a ‘hot’ social media topic HFCS has attracted extensive mainstream media coverage in recent year, following the 2004 Popkin study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AJCN) that hypothesized a link between rising US obesity rates and HFCS in particular.

But Concannon said P2P created a disproportionate ‘negative buzz’ for HFCS, which led to major brands such as Capri Sun changing formulations to cut it out, before eventually switching back more recently.

Concannon told BeverageDaily.com: “Social media really provided quite a lot of heat, but really, not a lot of light, about the science that was pretty quickly refuted, while what was left was really more of a publicity driven controversy about the healthiness of HFCS.”

“In hindsight, we can see (looking at data from Nielsen and elsewhere) that switching away from HFCS was not really a strategy that worked anywhere. You don’t see the performance on the shelf justifying having made a switch to begin with," he added.

Related products

Saturated fat guidelines out, food guidelines in?

Get rid of nutrients and focus on foods in guidelines, says sat fat researcher

Benoit Lamarche

Saturated fat researcher, Laval University

'It's business as usual': Davisco Foods on Agropur takeover

'It's business as usual': Davisco Foods on Agropur takeover

Polly Olson

Vice President of Business Development, Davisco Foods International

Snack trends 2014: Euromonitor says popcorn and thins

Euromonitor: Popcorn and thins epitomize ‘indulgence without the guilt’

Popcorn has exploded and thins have sliced into action in snacking – both riding...

InHarvest: Legumes, pulses steal spotlight from animal protein

At the 2014 Research Chefs Association Conference & Culinology Expo, FoodNavigator-USA caught up with...

SFA head: ‘A little term called class action suits’ is prompting GMO removal

SFA head: ‘A little term called class action suits’ is prompting GMO removal

Genetically modified organisms are safe and there is a need and place for them...

Could oats be the next gluten-free star?

Could oats be the next gluten-free star?

Oats, when the supply chain ensures no cross-contamination, are a gluten-free cereal grain. So...

Fed up: Probiotic research veteran issues global call to action

Fed up: Probiotic research veteran issues global call to action

Veteran probiotic researcher professor Gregor Reid is not a happy man. It’s time the...

GMO-free Cheerios: Did General Mills buckle to consumer pressure? Will the move backfire?

GMO-free Cheerios: Did General Mills buckle to consumer pressure? Will the move backfire?

General Mills’ move to go GMO-free on its flagship Cheerios brand has caused quite...

Irish firm offers (cheaper) heat resistant probiotics for infant formula

Irish firm offers (cheaper) heat resistant probiotics for infant formula

Sinéad Doherty, PhD

Founder, AnaBio Technologies

Organic check off could bring farmers into fold, clarify claims

An organic check off campaign could bring more farmers into the fold, clarify claims, OTA says

Demand for organic in the U.S. is soaring with more than 80% of families...

Expo West video, Popcorn has totally reinvented itself

Caught on camera at Expo West: Popcorn was a mature category and it’s totally reinvented itself

Ready-to-eat popcorn sales surged 60% to $750m between 2012 and 2014, while microwave popcorn...

One out of 13 children has food allergies, Enjoy Life Foods

Enjoy Life Foods at Expo West: One out of 13 children in North America has food allergies

One out of 13 children in North America has food allergies today compared with...

Cargill's Viatech platform deconstructs stevia leaf to identify better blends

Cargill's Viatech platform deconstructs stevia leaf to identify better blends

Cargill is “all in on stevia,” according to Scott Fabro, global business development director. ...

Dave's Killer Bread takes on the carb-bashers at Expo West

Bread is back! Dave's Killer Bread takes on the carb-bashers at Expo West

While retail sales of packaged bread have been pretty sluggish in recent years, one...

Beyond Meat, a meat-free solution for dinner every night of the week

Beyond Meat: ‘We want to provide a solution for dinner every night of the week…’

Beyond Meat - the California-based firm that claims to have unlocked the secret to...

a2 Milk outlines its US game plan in Expo West video

Lights, camera, action! a2 Milk outlines its US game plan at Expo West

Digestive issues after drinking milk are often attributed to milk protein allergy (which can...

Plant waters at Expo West, from maple water to artichoke water

Plant waters take center stage at Expo West, but can they emulate coconut water's meteoric success?

FoodNavigator-USA editor Elaine Watson talked to three players in the emerging 'plant waters' category...

What are consumers looking for from their snacks today?

What are consumers looking for from their snacks today?

What's hot in snacks? Insects? Chia? Chickpeas? And how difficult is it to get...

Does the edible bugs trend have the legs to succeed?

Does the edible bugs trend have the legs to succeed?

Not a week goes by without media headlines talking about the potential of insects...