Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Silk v Almond Breeze Battle Wages On - and We Win

   I have written about the virtue of almond milk 3 or 4 times in the past year.  I believe it has a lot to offer as a replacement for cow's milk.  It has a better nutrient profile, zero sugar (unless you buy a version that is sweetened.. and why would you DO that?), and it has  good fat from almonds.
    In the second or third post, I spoke about one brand having slightly more calories than the other. If your interested in why that might matter  here is that post.
     Not only was there a calorie difference between the two brands but a significant price difference as well.  I was, initially, paying 50 cents more for the lower calorie milk (and I use two cartons a week). 
    I followed up sometime later to tell you that the other brand miraculously determined or changed so that it didn't have those 10 extra calories after all.  This was great news.  I could buy the cheaper milk  because the producer changed its recipe! YAY 
    I must not be the only calorie sleuth in the almond market nor the only one who sacrificed money to get less calories. Once the calories were equal I switched to the lower priced milk.  That must have been the behavior of many customers because the higher priced milk is now only 10 cents more.  In other words, the other company also changed based on the behavior of customers.  We had an effect on the producers.
So this is fantastic. Consumers driving healthier options.
   This is exactly the type of response we are starting to see and hoped to see with restaurant menu labeling.
If I can get a lower calorie (read healthier) meal at one restaurant then I will go to that restaurant. If restaurants want my business they will smarten up and give me more lower calorie choices - and prices will even out just like they did for the milks.  (if there are lots of people making choices this way)


Anonymous said...

I just came across two boxes of Almond Breeze in the store. One is the 30 calorie version and one is the 40 calorie version (both unsweetened plain). I can't help but wonder if there is some kind of fuzzy or "new" math going on here. How is it that they reduced the calories by a claimed 25% and the fat by a claimed 28.5%? They say they reduced the almond content a bit. It seems like it could simply be a marketing ploy to appeal to the calorie watchers. Any idea how valid their claims are?

Deirdre Dingman said...

I believe that there are at least two things going on, but I wouldn't put too much effort into conspiracy theories, not for 10 calories. There may be subtleties in the calories they count because if it has less than 5 calories of something that something can be said to be 0. I do not know if this rule applies to individual ingredients, but it might.
Also, the FDA is considering updating food package nutrition labels, which probably has some companies nervous and leading them to re crunch their numbers. We know that I care about all the little calories, because they add up, but I believe that the serving size for the milks have 30 calories.