Plum dumb

PlumSmartWhat do you think of when you hear the term ‘prune juice’?  Awkward digestive problems?  Or great nutrition?  Prunes and prune juice have been sold for decades as a fix for constipation, but prunes are more than just a natural laxative.  Some of the more significant nutritional benefits include:

  • high fiber.  8 oz of prune juice, or 4-5 dried plums (prunes) has about 3 grams of fiber
  • high potassium
  • significant source of iron, B6, magnesium, copper, B2 and niacin
  • no fat, low sodium

Prune juice has been around for decades, but perhaps the image seemed dated to the marketing geniuses at Sunsweet.  Enter Plum Smart, the updated 21st Century version of plain old prune juice.  While prune juice is a water extract of dried plums, Plum Smart is made from plum juice (squeezed from fresh plums) and grape juice concentrate (sugar).  Add some fiber (dextrin, a starch), colors, flavors and some vitamin C.  If you’re making “lite” Plum Smart, omit the grape juice concentrate, and add sorbitol and Sucralose.

PlumSmartLabelWhat happens to the nutrition?

  • Total fiber stays the same, since dextrin was added.  But the type of fiber will not be the same as the naturally occurring fiber in prune juice.
  • Potassium goes down.  The ‘lite’ Plum Smart has less than 1/3 the potassium of regular prune juice.
  • Levels of the other naturally occurring vitamins and minerals go down, especially so in the ‘lite’ version.

But it’s called Plum Smart.  So for shoppers who don’t look beyond the front of the label, and believe in Health Halos, that word “smart” will be enough to convince them that Plum Smart must be better than plain old prune juice.  Who doesn’t want to make “Smart” choices?

In fact, this could be a new trend in food marketing.  You’ll know “smart” is working when we start seeing “smart” potato chips, “smart” cookies and “smart” soft drinks.  “Smart” could be the new “natural”.

Copyright: All content © 2010-2018 Nutrition Strategy Advisors LLC. Photographs © Donna P Feldman, unless otherwise attributed. Reproduction or use without permission is prohibited.