09 January, 2012

What's Up With Welch's Grape Jelly?

I saw an ad for Welch's Grape Jelly the other day, starring their happy spokesman Alton Brown.  

At the end of the ad, Alton mentions that Welch's Grape Jelly contains no high-fructose corn syrup. That was delicious news to my ears, because I read labels and one of the things that puts a product on my "Do Not Buy" list is the inclusion of HFCS - and I haven't bought Welch's jams or jellies in a long time.

But when I checked out the labels at the grocery store, I found that apparently, nothing has changed. All of the Welch's jams and jellies, regardless of packaging (large or small jar, ridiculous squeeze tube, and so on) show that Welch's is still using corn syrup and high-fructose corn syrup, and not a bit of cane sugar.

So, what's up, Alton? Is this a transitional period where sugar-sweetened jelly is on the way but the last of the HFCS syrup still hangs around? Or is someone just blowing smoke up our ass?

Check out the Welch's in your supermarkets, and let me know in the comments if you find the no-HFCS version there.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

WELCH'S NATURAL GRAPE SPREAD

This I think is a new product that Alton is pitching for them. It has no HFS

Havent tried it, prefer Smucker's Jams for "everyday" Grape "Jelly" fix

CEN said...

I think you saw the natural spreads commercial too. It starts out with "plump and ripe out here means delicious in here" and it shows a dad and a boy picking grapes and enjoying their fabulous grape jelly sandwiches. I swear I have seen that sucker about 20 times already.

icecycle66 said...

I hate squeeze jelly.

Dave said...

Thanks to Anonymous and CEN - I caught the ad again today and sure enough, it was for "Natural Grape Spread."

Wonder why they have to call it "Spread" instead of "jelly" or "jam" or whatever. Must have something to do with the sugar content or something.

I think it's kind of shitty that they make the ads so similar to the ones for their regular products that it causes confusion, but opn the other hand it's nice to see US companies returning to the use of sugar instead of relying on HFCS.

lindysez.com said...

I have to agree that it's hard to distinguish what is a good product and what is still crap. Advertisers are deceptive...to say the least. I especially love that all things now are "whole grain"...but it means nothing if it's not whole whole...oh well...thank you for checking and exposing this to us, for us...

Southern Fiber said...

I just picked up the Natural Grape Spread to try, and mine does NOT have HFCS or Corn Syrup. I have to look at the labels of everything I buy, because some no HFCS claims still have that ingredient in there. I am intolerant to any form of corn syrup, so I looked. Sugar is the only sweetener listed.

Craig said...

I just came upon your blog (thanks for the capicola post).

I haven't really decided how I feel about HFCS yet but I certainly prefer to see real sugar used. I do hope you know that Brown Sugar Pop-Tarts do contain it.

Sarah said...

In other news, the only BBQ sauce I have found so far that does not contain High Fructose Corn Syrup comes from the Archer Farms brand at Target. It's called Midwest BBQ sauce, and fortunately I love it! At least with jelly there are many natural alternatives.

JefeJivaro said...

The product you saw advertised was probably Welch's Natural Concord Grape Spread. It only contains grapes, sugar, pectin, citric acid and sodium citrate. It has the consistency of jelly, looks and tastes like traditional grape jelly, but here's the curious part: I've looked for grape jelly without HFCS--it no longer exists! All you can find is jelly (with HFCS) or spread (without). My search has not been exhaustive (because HFCS is nearly universal in grape products), but every manufacturer I've found has jelly with HFCS and "spread" without. I'm beginning to wonder if the FDA has mandated that if you're going to call it grape jelly it must have HFCS. If so, it is almost certain that requirement was put in place by an Iowa congressman as a hidden amendment to a farm subsidy bill to boost the demand for corn products. Such earmark tie-ins are not a new thing. As early as the 1940s, a Wisconsin congressman placed such an earmark into a defense funding bill that required that every Navy man was required to receive "x" number of ounces of butter per day (Navy personnel loved it because it meant they didn't have to eat oleomargarine as did the other branches of the service).