Misleading Muffins

When it comes to product information, it pays to read the fine print. And to do the math.

For example…
A friend of mine took this picture at a Trader Joe’s store in North Carolina:

Notice, first:

  • (a) the package claims that there are only 120 calories per serving,

That’s pretty good — about the same number of calories as, say, a multigrain bagel at Starbucks.

But notice also:

  • (b) the package says that there are 8 servings, but …
  • (c) there are just 4 muffins in the package.

4 muffins…8 servings? Huh? That’s half a muffin per serving? How many people consider half a muffin to be a serving? Isn’t the whole point of muffins that they are a kind of cake, but baked at single-serving size? Try going to a restaurant or café sometime and ordering “half a muffin.” It won’t work.

The natural assumption, of course, is to look at the package and think “Wow, just 120 calories per muffin!” So, this packaging is not false, but definitely misleading.

As my friend pointed out to me, it seems the packagers of this product lack moral fiber themselves.

3 comments so far

  1. Sam on

    Does the price tag really read 12.30? That’s $12.30 for 4 muffins. Wow. I guess moral fibre is expensive.

  2. Anonymous on

    On Weight Watchers, the entire muffin would only be 4 points (because of the fiber) — that’s actually not that bad!

  3. Anonymous on

    This is nothing new, but it is a good reminder that consumers have the responsibility to be aware of what they are buying and eating. So few people have the attention span or desire to read information provided to them. If you care about eating only 120 calories in one serving of a muffin, then make sure you know what one serving is. Me, I never eat muffins, because as Chris said, they’re little cakes–there’s nothing healthy about them. So what’s the point of only eating 120 calories when at the same time you’re consuming about 30 grams of sugar (or something like that)?

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