10 April, 2009

New Packaging for Silk Soymilk

A couple weeks ago, my daughter noticed that Silk soymilk no longer had the "USDA ORGANIC" tag on their label, and she asked me if I had noticed as well.

I hadn't noticed until then, but she was right - the familiar Silk labels were no longer tagged as organic, and the ingredient list had changed as well, describing the ingredients as "natural" rather than "organic."

Because I hadn't seen anything but the original-looking cartons in my regular grocery store, I sent off an email to WhiteWave, asking whether or not Silk was still an organic product, and got this reply:

Thank you for your recent e-mail to Silk®. We appreciate your interest in our products.

Silk is pleased to offer a new line of natural products. As demand for organic and natural food options continue to grow, Silk remains dedicated to providing a variety of selections to satisfy a broad range of consumer demands.

You will find these new products to be the same high quality, great tasting soymilk you have come to know and enjoy.

In addition to the natural lines, Silk will continue to offer the same organic flavors we have always offered – Plain, Vanilla and Unsweetened – in new packaging clearly labeled organic. Silk’s organic product in new packaging will be available starting January 2009. Until then, the organic options for these varieties will still be available.

In addition to offering consumers greater options, broadening our product line gives us an ability to source both natural and organic beans domestically (from North America).

Further, in a time when you have to pay more for every food product, this is an effort to keep our prices in line and competitive. Silk remains committed to providing the highest-quality products to you at competitive prices.

A few days later, at a different market, I discovered Silk's new packaging for the "organic" product. How clever! The cartons are green! Get it? Green! Organic! You can tell the flavors are different because each different flavor has a distinctively-colored "banner" underneath the big "Organic" script on the front of the carton. That's totally less confusing than making each flavor an entirely different color, right?

I notice that the price is identical for the "natural" and the "organic" varieties, so - for now, at least - WhiteWave isn't trying to differentiate their two varieties based on price points. I wonder about their marketing, though. Why create a new label for an established product, and use a tweaked version of the original label for a new product?


Links:

Silk Soymilk

Silk Soymilk is Not Organic at Healthy Vegan Blog. Blogger Kathy is upset about WhiteWave's marketing changes, which she considers deceptive.

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7 comments:

Netts Nook said...

Thanks for the info I will need to pick some up tomorrow.

kathy said...

This is very deceptive! Not only did they change their product with only a minimal change to their label, they are still charging the SAME price for now nonorganic soy milk. Thanks for sharing this info.

Tami said...

There was an ad campaign a few months back about this "change".
I emailed their (Silk's) corporate office and got a bland "Best for the people" response. I've been a Silk user since before White Wave sold it's recipe. (somewhere between 15 and 20 years)
Not any more.
A lot of "Store Brand" Soymilk uses the Same Recipe as the "old" Silk. Except somebody decided that "plain" soymilk should have vanilla in it....go figure..

Nathan said...

I agree the changes in product packaging are deceptive. I purchased several cartons before the missing organic label was pointed out to me by a friend.

Even with the new organic packaging, there is some dispute to the claim that Silk is purchasing soybeans in the US.

Personally I have decided to find an alternative to this product.

See: www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_18064.cfm

Anonymous said...

I just made an early morning run to get what I thought was the usual Silk I buy in a green carton only to discover I'd picked up plain....too sweet to me...instead of the unsweetened. I believe it is time to find a more local source for soymilk. If I need to change habits anyway, I may as well make the change to support our local economy.

NYC taxi photo said...

Oh this is so aggravating, both for inconvenience and price. I must've been buying the wrong soymilk for 8 months now!!

I'm going to switch to whole foods brand soy milk. does anybody have suggestions on other companies that make a good product at a good price? I'm not too interested about the milk being organic, but the deception, and the worry about the quality of the product and source of the bean is really annoying.

Anonymous said...

Today, I opened a new carton of Silk Chocolate Light and the recipe has changed. It is totally gross. They have attempted to make it "Lighter" the calories have changed from 120 to 90. I think that is a good idea but not at the expense of the taste.

Very disappointed.