This week, it was brought to my attention that soda manufacturers are still trying to make their products seem healthy. Haven’t we been over this?
The product, which I quite literally stumbled upon when an empty can of it was left on a Metro bus, is 7 Up Cherry Antioxidant, which claims, as you can guess, to contain an antioxidant. One singular antioxidant. For health!
Apparently, though, this product is not new. I did some research and found that 7 Up has been making and marketing it for well over 2 years–it’s just that, in the last year or so, they’ve rolled out new packaging, which has reignited interest.
The antioxidant (which already is sort of a non-health claim, as the benefits and what constitutes an “antioxidant” are debatable) in question, is vitamin E. That’s all. It’s still soda, it’s still rich with artificial flavors and colors and sugar, but it’s got vitamin E. Which makes it a supplement, right?
No, of course not. In addition to the 10% of your daily does of vitamin E that the soda delivers, 8 ounces of the stuff, which is less than even a can, mind you, still contains 100 empty, empty calories and 25 grams of sugar. This does not a healthy beverage make.
7 Up has a long history of pretending to be health. Remember this image in a vintage ad, where a mother fed her infant the “pure, wholesome” drink? But they’re not the only ones–Coca-Cola tried their hand at “enriching” their product with Coke Plus, which had some negligible number of vitamins, and Pepsi had Tava, a super-short-lived “sparkling beverage.” But that was in 2007, and the misleading claims were immediately sniffed out and debunked. Because we all know that soda is not, and never will be, healthy.
So why keep trying it? Why continue to add even more stuff to soda, just to try to con a few extra people into buying it?
Really. Years later, soda companies, let this one go. You’ve got plenty of customers willing to buy and consume your unhealthy product, so please, stick with that.
Image: 7 Up