Boycott 7up.

7up is now claiming to be “100% natural.” It’s all over their ad campaign.

Why this is false:
-7up still contains (a lot of) high fructose corn syrup, just like most sodas. High fructose corn syrup is like sugar, except it’s distilled from corn in a factory. Sure, it came from corn originally, but that doesn’t mean it’s “natural.”
-7up also contains potassium citrate. That’s a chemical.
-To be fair, the drink is mostly carbonated water. That’s not particularly natural either. But whatever- carbonated water, take it or leave it. The main issue is the HFCS.

Why this is bad:
-People might buy it, thinking it’s actually natural, or even healthy.

What you should do:
-Boycott 7up.

-Spread the word.

-If you’re a real badass, also boycott Dr. Pepper, A&W Root Beer, Snapple, Sunkist, Canada Dry, Hawaiian Punch, Schweppes, Mott’s Apple Juice, IBC, Stewart’s, Nantucket Nectars, and Orangina. They’re all owned by Cadbury Schweppes, which owns 7up.

-Also boycott RC Cola, Diet Rite, Slush Puppie, Clamato, Mr. and Mrs. T, Holland House, Rose’s, Mistic, and Yoo-hoo. Cadbury Schweppes also owns them. But who drinks them anyway?

As they say, this chaps my ass real bad.


yincrash -

Hate to break it to you Dan, but Potassium Citrate is a naturally occuring substance (however it is often synthesized). In fact, any food with citric acid + potassium means it has potassium citrate, like a grapefruit. So, if 7up is being truthful, it can in fact have naturally occuring potassium citrate (which has been shown to help prevent kidney stones!). The harder one to convince it is a natural ingredient though, is in fact high fructose corn syrup, because corn most definitely doesn’t start out with it.

In conclusion, announcing a boycott on 7UP is silly, just back CPSI’s lawsuit instead.

Unknown -

I think “Why this is bad” is more a general misleading marketing story than a case of actual people thinking it’s natural and healthy.

Any person who reads labels (and that’s practically everyone actively trying to eat healthy) isn’t going to be fooled by a “100% Natural” sticker when they see the 240 calories, 65 mg Sodium and Carbs, 62 g sugars, and HFCS info.

The only people that might be swayed are those picking up soda already, and anyone picking up soda already clearly doesn’t mind too much the massive amounts of HFCS in them. People who stop drinking 7UP will be driven to other lemon-lime soda alternatives (e.g. Sprite and the delectable Sierra Mist), which are just as bad health-wise. A boycott on all soda? That’s healthy. On 7UP? That seems like a petty grudge.

And I would totally drink more Yoo-Hoo if I ready access to it. What a delicious beverage!

Anonymous -

I’m willing to take an active stance against the drinking of Clamato if its really “for the good of all.”

Always the activist Dan…

- Erik

Dan -

Well, potassium citrate… grapefruits may have naturally occurring potassium citrate. 7up can have potassium citrate that was natural when it was in the grapefruit, but once you extract it in a lab and put it into 7up, it smacks of unnaturality to me.

But the potassium citrate isn’t really the point. It’s the HFCS.

Scoot, as for your points:
First of all, you don’t have to read those little nutrition boxes to eat healthy. Just eat natural things, right? I’m all for people eating healthier in general: eating more actually natural things, eating more fruits and vegetables and fewer packaged products, eating whole grains, eating less meat (notice I didn’t say “eating no meat”), buying organic, buying local, getting on their bikes and riding to the farmers' market. And by the way, not buying soda at all. But that’s a different battle.

As for 7up specifically: I don’t know what the average customer thinks, or what 7up’s ad campaign will do. Maybe customers will reach for some Sprite and say, hold on a minute, I’ll get this “all natural” 7up instead. Whatever. It’s not about the effects of the marketing campaign, it’s that the campaign is deceptive, and you can’t just let that slide.

And what the hell is Clamato, anyway?

-Dan, who will gladly boycott a product that he doesn’t know what it is

Unknown -

No, you don’t need to read nutrition boxes to eat healthy, but it makes things a lot easier. Otherwise, you have to exclude whole groups of foods that are a part of a balanced diet because you aren’t willing to distinguish between those that are moderately healthy and those that are stuffed with excessive calories and fat content.

But what does that have to do with boycotting 7up? Well, as you say, “the campaign is deceptive, and you can’t just let that slide.” If that’s honestly true, I’m sure there are a lot more food companies with deceptive marketing practices that you may have to give up.

Once we get on that slippery slope, it’s not long before you’re boycotting prescription drugs and household products. Enjoy sickly life sitting in your dirty house sucking on some cane sugar, Dan, but don’t ask me to join you.

I’m also curious why you called out Cadbury Schweppes on all their beverages but none of their confectionaries. Do their creme eggs, Dentyne, Halls, Sour Patch Kids, and Trident not need to pay the price for their insidious assault against on-the-fence half-health-conscious Americans with the WMD known as 7up?

Dan -

And their goddamn Fruit and Nut bars! Topple the whole Cadbury’s empire! Eh, whatever. I just named off the things that are on 7up’s website as being in the same company. When corporations get this big, it’s hard to stop buying everything, and you’ve got to pick your battles. I mean, fine, I don’t buy Cadbury’s confections anyway, but then, I don’t buy 7up anyway. Sure! Boycott them all!

I’m just trying to make what little dent that I, as an individual person who’d rather pursue his own life than take the time to file a lawsuit or start a protest group, can make against a megacorporation that’s doing something that I think is wrong.

As for other food products with deceptive marketing: name them. Sure, I agree with you. For example, fruit juices (even 100% ones) that claim to be as healthy as eating a whole fruit, when you miss out on fiber and all the other nutrients (whatever they may be) that are in the whole fruit. Also, lots of breads that make it look like they’re made with whole grains, but really aren’t. Whatever. There are a lot of foods I could rail against, but if I did, people would think I’m a hippie vegan tree-hugger and ignore me. Again, you’ve got to pick your battles, and I think 7up’s “100% natural” marketing is a particularly egregious lie.

Plus, that “Cool Spot” video game for SNES was never that fun anyway.

Joe -

Hey Dan, just chiming in to say that I think that this is kinda silly. Most 100% juice drinks go really far out of their way to process grape and apple juices until they’re nothing more than juice-based sugar water. Tons of foods, even organic foods, have sketchy ingredients like ‘natural flavors.’ Just Google “organics” +“natural flavoring” and see what you come up with.

7up is taking a pretty novel approach by simplifying its recipe. Yes, fructose syrup is bad. In fact, fructose is metabolized differently than glucose, and purportedly has less nutritional benefits. But honestly, using natural sugar is very difficult for these larger companies, as HFCS has a much longer shelf life and is apparently much cheaper.

And yes, all 7up is doing is trying to ride the recent rise in ‘healthier eating’ lifestyles to sell its product. But I honestly don’t believe that the company is doing anything worse than Juicy Juice turning apple juice into sugar water or the tons of ‘natural’ products with loads of ‘natural’ preservatives or flavors. It’s just the terrible nature of the American food economy to constantly lie to its consumers.

And, finally, remember this: It’s very, very easy to call for a boycott of a product you don’t use in the first place, or would have no trouble cutting out of your life.

I think it’s a good thing that you’re standing up for what you believe in. Just remember to stay grounded in the (oftentimes harsh) reality of the world and try not to start ranting about Genetically Modified Food or anything crazy like that.

PS: is good for a laugh about what happens when you start taking these things waaaay to seriously.

yincrash -

Well, potassium citrate… grapefruits may have naturally occurring potassium citrate. 7up can have potassium citrate that was natural when it was in the grapefruit, but once you extract it in a lab and put it into 7up, it smacks of unnaturality to me.

that’s like saying sugar in packets of sugar is unnatural. the ingredient is natural if it comes from a natural source, even it it has a “chemical” name.

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